This weekend the North East and Mid –Atlantic region of the US were showered with a coat of freezing rain, resulting in many automobile accidents. Concerns of flooding grew as the temperature rose a bit later in the day. These are examples of water’s destructive rather than creative personality. In the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine, water is associated with the season of winter. During winter in this hemisphere, some humans tend to “hibernate”, not unlike bears. It is a darker season, with short daylight hours and less incidence of pleasant outdoor blooming flora. With less light in our eyes, some experience a phenomenon currently known as Seasonal Affective Disorder –an anagram that literally spells SAD. It is important to note at this time of year (though many lose interest), physical activity is one of the major deterrents of SAD. Internal arts practitioners would certainly include the practices of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditation. On an icy surface, people are more likely to fall, so developing a greater sense of internal and external balance, intention, leg strength and flexibility come in handy. We become more aware of our surroundings. Be sure and get some “golden light” in your eyes in the coming days. Giving back to others is one of those “lights” –share with us how you spent your Martin Luther King day of service.
Shares/Finds: For those studying the 24 Form (sometimes called the Tai Chi short form), Best Tai Chi Videos site posted this video.
Student News & Events: Appreciation for those of us who joined UTC for Christian’s Qi Gong workshop at Kokikai Akido School this weekend– a study in connections and internal balance. Master Armstrong encountered weather/travel issues this weekend and will reschedule his monthly Sunday morning session at Dragon Gym. Sincere condolences from our Tai Chi family to Martina on the loss of a loved one last month. Anyone with birthdays to share in February, let me know for a blog mention next time. Hello to our snowbirds who are spending the winter in warmer climates, hope to see you back in the spring.
Social Media Roundup: Welcome our new followers, sharers or readers on the following platforms: (Twitter) @YjtcNpc , @goldduster96 and @dogperson77. Our friends at Lighthouse Tai Chi in the UK report snow and ice there as well. (Facebook) Maria M and Raydoune Z joined us recently. (Pinterest) Check out the boards of our new follower Joseph M. (WordPress) Thank you for making our last blog –Year of the Goat our third most read title in the past 12 months!
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We have just christened 2015, the year of the goat. One of the yin Chinese zodiac signs, the goat is stable, sympathetic, kind-hearted, compassionate and willing to sacrifice his or her own interests to help others. Goats in different birth years are linked to different elements. Many water goats (b. 1943) share the art of music–including Janis Joplin, George Harrison, John Denver, Barry Manilow, Joni Mitchell and Jim Croce. Known for his environmentalism, Denver seemed to be aligned with the Taoist principles of communing with nature, respecting and drawing inspiration from earth’s elements. Harrison, known as the “quiet Beatle”, had an abiding interest in Eastern philosophies, instruments and meditation. Creative thinkers like Bill Nye, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were each born in a wood goat year, 1955. After Jobs’ death, internal arts blogger Paul Read (bean curd boxer) wrote of him “let us welcome the new interpreters, the Yang Chen Fus and Chen Man Ch’ings. Those who evolved the art and took the risk of rejection…just like the I Ching tells us to do. Just like the applications teach us to do.” Were you born in a year of the goat? Share your story with us. And let us start out 2015 with compassion, kindness and sacrifice.
New Event & Class Alert: Christian will be holding a Saturday QiGong workshop on January 17 at Kokikai Akido School (1209 Ward Ave in West Chester). Time slot is 10am to 12pm, and pricing is $20 per hour. He is also a returning Tai Chi instructor for the Chester County Night School program. Dates January 7th to February 11th at Henderson High School in West Chester. Fees $62 bulk rate per person for six classes. Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. Register at this link. Also, regarding some of our Lionville YMCA classes, the Tuesday/Thursday afternoon class has changed temporarily during construction to 4.30pm and last 45 minutes. Join us Sunday January 18 at 10:00 am for a session with Masters Tolbert and Armstrong at Dragon Gym in Exton.
Recent Quotes: “As a tool for developing life skills and improving my life, I can think of few things that have done me as much good as starting martial arts training.” Mike Massie, Martial Arts Business Daily
Student News & Events: Chris M shared with me via Gmail this great story of enlightenment in her search for Crane vs. Snake debate answers. “On the way to yoga I looked along the roadway at a bird that caught my eye–a white crane! It had a snake in its mouth. The snake was contorting itself in all ways possible. The white crane, with its elegant, elongated curved beak, had all the advantages. White crane trumps snake. That crane, as fragile as it seems, has all the advantages. It speaks tai chi principles on several levels. Words that come to mind: don’t muscle in to a tense situation.” Our condolences to Marcia on the loss of a loved one after an illness. Pray for the families of those lost on AirAsia 8501. Thank you to the Tolberts for hosting many Tai Chi friends at a post-holiday social this weekend. I am watching my new betta fish DiNozzo, who demonstrates the principles of snake spine, bones like water, adapting to your environment, and moving meditation. Master Tolbert introduced us to Qi Journal which you can check out here.
Social Media Roundup: Welcome our new followers, sharers or readers on the following platforms: (Twitter) @MUNIOdefense , @QiGongiiQG, @LucasKitchen and @FerguJames. (Pinterest) Check out the boards of our new fans Sara A and Dominic B.(Facebook) Ben T, from whom I found Martial Arts Business Daily and Monica C from the Azores. And thank you Sifu Chris Bouguyon (National Qi Gong Association board of directors) for connecting with me on LinkedIn.
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