Tag Archives: Boston Healing Tao

A Look Back, Part II: United Tai Chi digest 12/22/14

  • In the previous blog we reminisced about the first half of 2014 for United Tai Chi. Some say the sequel is never as good as the original, but let’s give it a go.
    • In addition to the class locations mentioned in Part I of the newsletter, added sites in the latter half of the year included Kokikai Akido school, more Chester County Night School sessions, and the Sunday mornings at Dragon Gym with Masters Armstrong and Tolbert. Our mentor Wei Lun Huang held a weekend workshop in Broomal PA that several of our students attended. And Phil represented UTC at Master Huang’s annual Wakulla Springs tai chi retreat. Christian held an outdoor weekend QiGong seminar in August. And followed Master Huang to a learning session at Boston Healing Tao this fall. UTC was also represented at the Blue Buddha anniversary party.
    • Field trips or shared events included Christian, Phil and Deb joining Master Armstrong in Philadelphia for a community festival and Tai Chi demonstration. Likewise some attended an Internal Arts weekend workshop lakeside at a fellow practitioner’s cabin. Steve and Phil conducted a Harvest Moon internal arts evening to celebrate the cosmic event. John C travelled to Hawaii to cheer on his son in a prestigious triathlon. We read books such as “The Power of Tai Chi Chuan” (R. Gamble) and “The Old Man From the Hill” (S. Zimcosky).Ray welcomed a new grandson, Jaclyn travelled to Croatia, and Christian’s uncle had an art exhibit at the Rosenfled Gallery in Philadelphia. Our annual tradition continued in supporting a youth from the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity with Angel Tree gift donations at the local YMCA.
    • Newsletter blog essays in the ‘living the art’ theme included: the effect of utilizing sound or music versus no sound. Mood disorders or depression and the Taoist principles of meditation, fitness and access to daylight. Medication black box warnings about side effects as a story framing agent to discuss the positive “side effects” of tai chi. Letting things go via listening, receiving, flexibility, communing with nature and animals, and comporting ourselves like ‘velvet bricks’. Goal setting in our daily lives as well as our internal arts practice. The assistance of smart phones in your search for videos, class locations, tweeted articles, blogs, or connecting with practice partners. Recovery from personal traumas using an analogy of cups full of pain that spill over versus those that allow room to let the goodness in. Layers (gum, Ogres, and the Human, Earth and Sky stages of tai chi). And finally, oral history and generational influences.
    • Thank you for making the following our most read blog titles published in the second half of the year: “Reboot”, “Labor Day”, “Sounds of Silence”, “Goal Tending”, “Thanksgiving”, and “A Look Back, Part I”. The Bee Gees said, “its only words, and words are all I have”. I hope, from me, it’s been so much more than words. Merry Christmas.
  • New Class Alert: Christian will be teaching through the Chester County Night School program. Dates January 7th to February 11th 2015 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.
  • Shares/Finds: My recent book review “The Old Man From the Hill” for the Tai Chi website Slanted Flying. Thank you Steve Zimcosky and Guy Tomash for your faith in me.
  • Student News & Events: Marilyn, thanks for a nice Open House party for tai chi friends and neighbors. Good to meet folks and discover more about purple pool water, Ray’s grandson, Jiji’s humor, Chris’s Michael Keaton film recommendations, Jose’s ikebana plans, and Dick, thanks for the Elf on the Shelf comment. Affinity groups are so helpful this time of year. Internal art, open heart.
  • Social Media Roundup: Thank you to our new followers, sharers or readers on the following platforms: (Facebook) Charles, Andy-Janelle, Joey, Sajad and Paulo. (WordPress) First time readers from Columbia and Cambodia this month. Canada and the UK, thanks always for your growing support. And a shout-out to our one reader in Finland –original home of my late grandfather. (Pinterest) check out the boards of fans Dominic B. , Adam R. and Sara A. Thank you Sifu Anthony K of FlowingZen for your forthright revelations and investigation regarding a troubling subject.
  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice       unitedtaichi@gmail.com

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A Look Back, Part I: United Tai Chi Digest 12/8/2014

  • The end of 2014 is nearly upon us, so once again I take this time to reflect on some of our UTC markers that we shared in months past, taken in two parts—herein, we focus on the first six months.
    • We held classes and workshops at such diverse sites as Chester County Night School ,Eat Drink Om Yoga café, Lionvlle Holistic Health Center, Blue Buddha Studio, Miller Park, Kerr Park, Dragon Gym and our local YMCA. Events we shared included World Tai Chi Day (“one world, one breath”). Master Wei Lun Huang’s workshops at Boston Healing Tao, and the Dragon Gym, while Master Huang shared with us his stories of his tai chi teaching cruise in Asia.
    • Some students embarked on late winter or early spring travel excursions, Bikram Yoga studies, assisting in equine therapy, a Chinatown (Philadelphia) field trip in search of tai chi swords. Read books like “Laoshi: Tai Chi, Teachers and Pursuit of Principle”.
    • Enhanced our tai chi practice with Golden Lotus Qigong, Bagua Animal stepping, Hsing-yi, and Part III of the Yang 108 form. Dabbled in a few more pop culture connections to our internal arts like Kenny Loggins (“Don’t Fight It”), Keanu Reeves (“Man of Tai Chi”), and films like “American Hustle” (from the feet up) and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (importance of being grounded in the lower tan tien).
    • Newsletter blog essays in the ‘living the art’ theme –connecting our tai chi principles to our daily personal, professional or emotional lives. Such discussions included the impact of tai chi on cross-training fitness; push-hands and the notion of understanding or re-directing your partner or opponent (personal relationships, tennis, work life); monkey mind and Amish youth’s Rumspringa; how tail chi makes us more adaptable travelers and opens up world cultures to us; self-correction in tai chi linked to career or life change (Julia Child, Sting, Walt Disney); Dyer’s “The Power of Intention”; moving meditation, relaxation and the de-stressors of ‘happy hour’; storm black-outs and how disengaging ourselves from our electronic umbilical cords returns us to mindfulness; the importance of the armpit glands in our chi flow; daylight savings time and the effect on Seasonal Affective Disorder; trust or leaps of faith in finally learning to ‘cross the street’ alone; how the art of branding is akin to principles of Taoism; and how a profoundly deep understanding of ourselves helps us define our interview pitch in the job transition arena.
    • Thank you for making the following our most read blog titles published in the first half of the year: “The Return”, “Elevator Speech”’, “Balanced”, “The Armpit Monologues”, “Force Majeure” and “Passport”. Stay tuned for ‘A Look Back, Part II’ in the next blog in two weeks.
  • Shares/Finds: In case you missed it in our August newsletter, here is the link again to download Ted Nawalinski’s “The Science of Qigong Healing” booklet –which cites case studies, applications, and references on the effects of qigong.

 

  • Student News & Events: A big thank you to all who participated once again in sponsoring a child with holiday gifts for the Angel Tree program at the YMCA for the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity. I hope you all had a great time at our annual holiday/birthday breakfast on the December 5th at the Lionshare—it was wonderful to see so many students in attendance, and was greatly appreciated by Christian. You can see a few photos of it on our Pinterest page. Marilyn B’s open house holiday gathering and perhaps some other events coming up later this month. Good luck to Claudia in her travels soon.
  • Social Media Roundup: Thank you to our new followers, sharers or readers on the following platforms: (Twitter) Jean @jeancox92. (Facebook) A big growth week, we have hit or exceeded 1,500 fans! Welcome Simi, Khey, Darren, Benny, Iraida, Nathan, Christopher, Keounda, Manual, Cheryl, Edward and Frank. (WordPress) Hello to our first reader from Panama. Thank you to Sifu Anthony K’s Flowingzen.com for being one our referrers. (Pinterest) check out boards from new follower Chi Shirt. Slantedflying.com’s Guy Tomash has invited me to review internal arts books by Steve Zimcosky.
  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice       unitedtaichi@gmail.com

Thanksgiving: United Tai Chi digest 11/24/14

  • Oral history –stories, teachings, principles and concepts passed down through the generations– has been a touch point this weekend. In my professional work, I came across a video-taped oral history with one of the early pioneers of qualitative market research, William Schlackman. A popular television pastor was also discussing the generational influences and direction of his father and grandfather, whose hard work and sacrifices had helped pave the way for his current flood of goodwill. And our own local instructor Christian was at a workshop in Boston recently with Master Wei Lun Huang. Sifu Huang can trace his internal arts lineage back to Liao Fo Hi, and Lou Tzi Ling (himself a student of Yang Chen Fu). Many of us will be fortunate to witness some of our own generational oral histories this Thanksgiving week. Internal arts such as tai chi are rife with this kind of oral history. Again part of my “living the art” theme I have explored in previous blogs. I found it interesting that one of Mr. Schlackman’s advice notes was, “the most important interview you do is on yourself”. Yet another concept we find in tai chi. Peace and blessings to you all this Thanksgiving.
  • Schedule update/alert: After Tuesday night November 25, we will no longer have a night tai chi class at the Blue Buddha yoga studio in Glenmoore.

 

  • Shares/Finds: This Paul Read / Bean Curd Boxer blog on tai chi and snow removal reminds me of Christian’s snow tai chi video last winter. Eagles NFL fans, we all know from The Tao of Chip Kelly football, internal arts (and life) are about adapting to your opponent, humility, favoring the process not the result, flexibility, and empowering your players with equal importance.

 

  • Student News & Events: Thank you to those who joined UTC at the monthly Exton Dragon Gym Sunday session this weekend. Birthday shout-out to Janet, Son and Dot. Sorry I didn’t hear about Sifu Huang’s workshop in Boston this past weekend until a few days beforehand. If you were there, report in! Local students, if you received my note about the YMCA’s Angel Tree program to collectively purchase holiday gifts for one child in the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity community, please return your gifts to me or Christian by or before Sunday November 30 (so everything can be wrapped/bagged/tagged and dropped off at the Y, Monday 12/1). And I would be remiss not to mention a certain instructor’s birthday coming up before our next newsletter is out –from your students and everyone you have influenced, have a peaceful and meaningful day Christian. Details on our annual combo holiday + birthday breakfast coming soon.
  • Social Media Roundup: Thank you to our new followers, sharers or readers on the following platforms: (Twitter) Daryl @dmuran1, and @WillieWil1 from NYC. (Facebook) Welcome Michaela and Gregg –locals from Chester County PA, Chris K from Oregon, Brandon in Alberta, Ernie in Massachusetts, Alianza in Florida, K Bar from Nashville, Bigpapa from Chicago and Jessica from Nashville. The windy city and music city, representin’. (WordPress) We have reached over 4,000 views since I started publishing there in June 2013. Thanks for our recent growth this month in readers from Europe. And as always, our neighbors to the north continue to be our #2 readership.
  • General Weekly Schedule:
DAY LOCATION PRICE TIME
Tuesday Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

** Last class at Blue Buddha is Tues. Novem25 **

Membership

$20 p/hour

4.45 pm

7.15 pm

Wednesday Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA Membership 7.30 am
Thursday Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Kokikai Akido School  1209 Ward Ave, West Chester (2 hour class, at $20 per hour)

Membership

$20 p/hour

4.45 pm

7.00 pm

Friday Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA

Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request

Membership

See instructor

7.30 am

See instructor

 

  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice       unitedtaichi@gmail.com

Smart Phone: United Tai Chi digest 10/14/14

  • Be they the bane of your existence, or your pocket best friend, there is no doubting that today’s current phone technology is not without its place in sharing or practicing your internal arts. Even in the quiet car of a train commute, with your earbuds on, you can view many videos, from beginner to advanced, just by doing a search for tai chi on your YouTube app. You can even search your app store for various (free and paid) items to download, including “Yip Man’s Wing Chung”. If you are out of town, you can search your Yellow Pages app to find venues for tai chi classes (a sample search in San Francisco yielded several options for example), and then use your phone’s Map application to get directions. You want martial arts movies? Fandango and IMD apps are great pocket sources for reference. Instagram and Pinterest apps abound with internal arts images and inspirational sayings. Have an outdoor workshop? A weather app assists your precipitation or temperature questions. A fellow student mentions a tai chi book he recommended after class –Amazon has an app for that, just a few clicks and it is on the way (sometimes by drone perhaps?). Twitter has a growing tai chi community –while you are waiting in line at the supermarket you can read about internal arts’ impact on fibromyalgia through a tweeted link by @trutaichi.  Mirror-less in the space where you practice on your own? Have a friend shoot a video on your phone that you can review and inspect your posture afterward.  Looking for bloggers on the topics of tai chi and qi gong? The WordPress app is a place to start. And of course texting friends or fellow students for an impromptu meet up practice session or discussion is a convenient way to quickly assemble some supportive practitioners. Of course nothing takes the place of mind intention, breathing patterns, principles of Taoism and the physical practice of the forms, But even this ancient art has found another home on this ubiquitous, modern pocket wonder.
  • New Class Alerts: Don’t forget our Thursday evening class that used to be at the holistic pharmacy has moved to the Kokikai Akido School at 1209 Ward Ave in West Chester.
  • Shares/Finds: For our Boston-area readers, check out our Wakulla Springs workshop friend Marie F. and Boston Healing Tao for their October schedule of events.

 

  • News & Events: Thank you to those who attended our October 12 outdoor Tai Chi workshop at Miller Park, where we reviewed and practiced parts I, II and III of the Yang 108 Long Form. Join us at Dragon Gym in Exton on Sunday October 19 at 10:00 am to share internal arts learning with area instructors John Armstrong and Al Tolbert. Happy belated birthday to Claudia. Aruna says hello, has been busy with grandkids but hopes to return to classes in December. Don’t forget the Bruce Samuelson art exhibit at the Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia is still going on until October 29, check out this video about his work. Try the upcoming Women’s Self Defense Class at the Blue Buddha Studio in Glenmoore on Sunday morning October 26, details here.  Thank you Chris M for sharing your foot surgery story and how it relates to our “bubbling well spring” intentions in Tai Chi. The tai chi sessions at Wakulla Springs Florida with Master Huang (sifu) will be held October 19-26 for “The Soul of Internal Arts”, and October 27 to November 2 for “The Soul of Tai Chi Pushing Hands”. For lodging information and pricing see http://www.huangtaichi.com/calendar.htm
  • Social Media Roundup  Thank you @lighthousetaiji in the UK for re-tweeting our last newsletter digest to their followers. Likewise appreciate oneanna65 on WordPress for showing support of same. Welcome new Twitter followers @MarkWBereton, @HathaHand, @Master_Waller and @ua_Vaughn. Yoga fans, if you missed Namas Day Philly, check out the video highlights from Carla Wilson @WilsonVA (Wilson Media Services) and Joe Longo. And on the West coast, Neida Bell is now following our Pinterest page.

General Weekly Schedule:

DAY LOCATION PRICE TIME
Monday Chester County Night School, East Bradford Elementary in West Chester.   Starts September 29. Package of 7 classes, purchase through http://www.chestercountynightschool.org $72 for 7 7:30p
Tuesday Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

Membership

$20 p/hour

4.45 pm

7.15 pm

Wednesday Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA Membership 7.30 am
Thursday Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Kokikai Akido School  1209 Ward Ave, West Chester (2 hour class, at $20 per hour)

Membership

$20 p/hour

4.45 pm

7.00 pm

Friday Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA

Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request

Membership

See instructor

7.30 am

See instructor

 

  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice       unitedtaichi@gmail.com

Redirect: United Tai Chi digest 3/5/14

Redirect changeAhead

  • The past several days have been a great exercise for me in ‘living the art’, finding ways that tai chi principles can appear or impact other experiences, daily activities or observations. This is about the receiving of a (real or perceived) attack, digesting or understanding that information, and redirecting the energy or finding ways to dissipate it before formatting a response.  A journey of X’s and O’s, or a round of Push Hands.  I was away this weekend at a qi gong workshop in the Boston area, and over the course of the before-during-and- after, I had both some bumps along the road and ways to redirect, dissipate, reformat, or delay.  Herein, the push, attack, or ‘incoming missile’ as our local teacher likes to say… (1) In matters of the heart, a man I care very deeply about and spent a lot of time with has only just recently expressed a need for a step back –adamant about not getting too serious, too fast with one person; and also relayed some other roadblocks.  The dreamer in me who sticks to love like a tree frog was crushed.  (2) In matters of work or professionalism, uncertainty, masquerading at alternating times as disappointment or lopsided opportunity –to either fail or succeed. Amidst upcoming changes at Employer X, a request for a letter of intent and feelers for adaptability. Partnered with what may have seemed at first like a lateral opportunity in a related capacity further away.  (3) In matters of the actual journey and its logistics, part A of the trip took much longer than anticipated and involved being a bit lost and traffic snarls. Part B return side saw seat partner issues, (very fidgety and vocal young girl, versus frequent self-thigh-rubbing adult male) and airport shuttle pickup 180 degree decisions.  And now for the redirect…(1) Heart.  Since were both away for the weekend we got off the texting merry-go-round and I took a qi gong 10 Steps breath and some Phoenix bagua torso spiraling to format some thought out, reasoned and touching replies. This week the door of communication is still open, vibrant and negotiable and I’m still in the game. (2) Work. I took a long time forming and crafting my intention, not writing anything up until after my trip, and allowing Rhino and Lion bagua animals to help me with diagnosing sore spots and finding my playfulness, my center point, rootedness and determination. While also having a good interview discussion in a head space where I felt good about my skills. (3) Travel.  The long journey up or the detours nonetheless was shared by my car pool friendly life raft mates in the sea of romantic despair, like the 10 breaths opening bow aligning the spine.  A straight spine, relaxed tailbone and concave chest are your wingmen. As for the return trip, the fidgety young girl said she liked my hair, so of course I melted a bit, and the thigh-rubber I put out of my head by secretly doing Bear bagua animal posture internally. And the shuttle driver who suddenly changed his mind from a 60 minute wait to a 15 minute wait after I just got a first bite of an attempted lunch, well I just had to swallow my reaction like Rooster, settle my bones to water and turn around.  Of course, these past few days and all these push vs. redirects helps me in my thought process to decide what things and people I want to stick it out and fight for.  But slowly. Slow fighting, Kind of like Tai Chi. 

 

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes:  Growing like a tree qigong, revisiting the ’13 Posture’ sections of “Look”, “Gaze” and Center”, more discourse on the ocean waves metaphor of receding/growing/crashing. A bit of Golden Lotus qigong postures, linking/transitioning, driving with the heel or ‘tailbone’ of the palm, and the uncoil & sink of Play the Pan Pan. And winter weather has impacted our class schedule once again this week.

 

  • Student News & Events: Welcome back Esther, Marcia, Audrey & John F. Thank you to old friends and new at the Master Wei Lun Huang workshop at Boston Healing Tao this past weekend, and a huge thanks to Steve G for the driving (and Steve and Phil for sharing their car space with someone who definitely needed a healing weekend).  Marie at BHT shot some photos from the workshop that you can view here http://on.fb.me/1pZXpmL  Christian did have some enthusiastic attendees at the Eat Drink Ohm Yoga Café class in West Chester last week. Also don’t forget the YMCA blood drive coming up on 3/28, the Chester County Night School tai chi class spring session 3/17 start, and World Tai Chi & Qigong Day on April 26 (stay tuned for more updates TBD). To any military veterans, any of Christian’s non-YMCA classes are free of charge. Among Twitter friends, Light House Tai Chi in the UK is having a tai chi sword course next weekend to sold-out interest. In WordPress news, someone in New Zealand has found and read our blog this week, and a new subscriber is GiftFromTheHeart. Our FB engagement rate is up over 400% for the week ending March 2. Facebook Fans of the Day: Amber a local in Chester County PA, and also Deb S in Ontario. Welcome!

 

  • Etcetera:  Aha, see, not all anger is unhealthy nor should be squelched.  Balanced anger, or what the Chinese medical theory calls righteous anger, is not only healthy, but essential to life. This is the energy that fuels action, the energy that enables people to right wrongs, to seek justice, and to actively build a better society.” [Sifu Anthony K of FLowingZen.com]

 

  • Weekly Schedule:   NOTE: Any Non-YMCA class offsite = FREE to Military Veterans!

 

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

 90 min., small class attention, Tai Chi &   mixed

 *$25 drop in   rate

Thursday

 

7:00 PM

Monday night

3/17   starts

 

Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

Pre-pay, multi-week   . Next new session on 3/17 http://www.chestercountynightschool.org

Monday

 

7.30 PM

Thursday   morning

Tai Chi classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café

124 E. Gay St in West Chester

 $15 drop in rate each class

Thursdays

 

7:30 AM

 

 

  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi 

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice      unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

Happy Hour: United Tai Chi digest 2/26/14

HappyHour

  • It’s 5.30 pm, your work day or likely your work week is winding to a close, the badges come off or the building security tags get tucked in into your car’s cup holder, you have filed your last TPS report.  For some what happens next is a cultural ritual, libations with friends at the local watering hole, or perhaps the chain restaurant near the office.  Where you wash off your stress, change your energy, breathe, or perhaps a kind of ‘chant’ if you will (“Did you hear what happened to Bob in Accounting today?”).  With your $3 drafts, half-priced appetizers, loosened ties and discarded reading glasses some are hoping to paint a picture of relaxation and joy. For others, in the study and practice of internal arts like tai chi and qigong, we have our own interpretation of “Happy Hour”. Or rather happy hours.  Our own moving meditation de-stressors, energy pathways, monkey-mind remedies, kidney awareness exercises (ha, bridging my ideas with the kidneys). We talked about the secret grin this past week in class—could it be that this is a reflection of our Happy Hour in action, our way to that picture of relaxation and joy I just mentioned.  Some of you locals or readers of my own personal social media know that I refer to my Friday dusk writing time as “Happy Hour”.  Another space in addition to tai chi, where joy and relaxation are on order, a place in my spirit where I can breathe and move.  This past Friday however, I did try once again a conventional evening ‘happy hour’ at a pub with a very large group. And you know what? I wished I was home…writing, or practicing qigong, or a quiet chat with a loved one. When was your Happy Hour this week, and who did you tip?       

 

 

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes:  Shiny white polished bones, the skin-muscle-tendon-bone pathway, secret grin, shaking, shoulder wells, holding postures, and Ray’s extra cookie.  Qigong openers (10 Breaths, 8 Pieces of Brocade), humidity, shoulder strike, palm breath, 13 postures, linking and connecting …we are ocean waves building and receding. Thursday class 1: French pinkies, hitchhiking, and student questions like Ted’s regarding finding your center, and the breath pattern for 13 Postures; and Dave’s about Single Whip. Thursday class 2: bagua animal body openings, and more work on part III of Yang 108…don’t forget your folding. Monday: opening bow spinal path like warm water down your back, in-depth session of Eight Pieces of Brocade qigong, palm breath, soft vs. hard, bubbling well point of the foot, and notes on Shoulder Strike. And I’m still laughing over a nomad story from a morning practice session …see Happy Hour in action again.

 

  • Student News & Events: We had a great attendance rate at the past Thursday night class at the Natural Pharmacy, thanks everyone who participated! A few of us will be attending part or all of the Master Wei Lun Huang workshop at Boston Healing Tao starting the eve of February 28 (sessions on 10 step breathing qigong, bagua animals, and ‘rainy day tai chi’). West Chester fans and friends, now on are Thursday morning classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café at 7:30am, $15 drop in rate http://www.eatdrinkOM.com please be sure and support our Tai Chi classes there. Phil G got to share some of his Tai Chi enthusiasm with an equine therapy group on Friday. A contact at Bryn Mawr Rehab has expressed an interest in Tai Chi there.  Thanks to one of our students so far to have signed up for the Red Cross blood drive at Lionville YMCA on Friday March 28 –you too can make an appointment at http://www.redcrossblood.org and use our sponsor code of lionville to find our 3/28 drive. The spring Chester County Night School course guide is out, and once again Christian will be teaching at East Bradford Elementary starting March 17 on Monday nights (course #FH70 at  http://www.chestercountynightschool.org ) and thank you to our winter session students. Early “save the date” notice …Saturday April 26 is World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, stay tuned for a local outdoor celebration.  Welcome Scorpion Taipan Combat @STcombat in the UK and @ironfist105 in South Carolina to our Twittersphere.  In WordPress news we are up over 2,000+ views since I started posting there at the end of June. Facebook fans of the day, Harvey (a ‘Bruce Lee’s Fans’ club member) and Shika from Indianapolis (pilates practitioner and equestrian).

 

  • Weekly Schedule:  

 

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

 90 min., small class attention, Tai Chi &   mixed

 *$25 drop in   rate

Thursday

 

7:00 PM

Monday night

3/17   starts

 

Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

Pre-pay, multi-week   . Next new session on 3/17 http://www.chestercountynightschool.org

Monday

 

7.30 PM

Thursday   morning

Tai Chi classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café

124 E. Gay St in West Chester

 $15 drop in rate each class

Thursdays

 

7:30 AM

  

  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi 

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

 Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice   unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

The Armpit Monologues: United Tai Chi digest 2/19/14

armpitMicrophone

  • Last week we were revisiting the importance of the armpit gland in our tai chi practice. How we don’t want to be closed off, or pinching the gland, but rather maintain a continuous openness in that region. In some of our earlier classes, our instructor Christian has shared the mantra ‘put a tuna sandwich under each armpit’, hoping that the imagery of a messy, mayonnaise filled hoagie would keep us from touching our biceps to the side of our ribs. The opening of the armpit also stands as a place holder for the upper tan tien when we unfold the arm in successive pieces for postures such as Ward Off. Or how we need to round the spine and soften the chest in order to get just the elbows (not the armpits) together in Golden Dragon Shakes the Tail qigong.  “An important requirement is keeping the space under the armpits rounded so the chi can flow easily from the body through the shoulders down through the arms”. [Violet Li, The Tai Chi Examiner, June 2011]  Part of your lymphatic system is housed in the armpit, and unhealthy or swollen lymph nodes are an immune system warning of infection. The armpit suffers an image problem—the name alone with the word ‘pit’ in it does not conjure up positive connotations, it is suggestive of a deficit or a den of iniquity. American culture and Madison Avenue tells us the armpit is a malodorous place we need to treat, and a hairy place we need to deforest. It is through our internal arts practices however that we are learning to demystify and embrace the wonder and significance of the armpit.  With apologies to Helen Reddy and 1972: I am Armpit hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore, and I know too much to go back and pretend. I’ve heard it all before and I’ve been down there on the floor, no one’s ever going to keep me down again. Yes I am wise, but its wisdom born of pain. Yes I’ve paid the price but look how much I’ve gained. If I have to, I can face anything –I am strong, I am invincible, I am Armpit!

 

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes:  More play-the-pan-pan practice and insights about the scissor step and left side uncoiling. “Let it be one” mantra for the left hand during transitions from shoulder strike, pull down and white crane.  Mental pictures, mind intention and silence.  Ray and the “senior students”.  Armpit class Wednesday, and groin. No elbows. Creating space and removing tension. Also part I of Yang108 done to the other side.  Snow removal issues near Master Armstrong postponed this month’s Dragon Gym Sunday workshop to March. Monday: heel to finger tip unity line in the Split posture, circling, un-martial jargon for those so inclined, tan tiens of the arm, Play the Pan-Pan. And the wei yin.   

 

  • Student News & Events: Sincere condolences from our Tai Chi family to Marcia Z on the loss of a family member this winter. And good luck to Ellen W on her surgery soon. West Chester fans and friends, very soon Christian will be teaching Thursday morning classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café at 7:30am, pricing and info at  http://www.eatdrinkOM.com  and you can meet the owner Susan in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CEixLt_56CM  please be sure and support our Tai Chi classes there!  Thanks Deb O for the commentary notes under our “Power Down” blog last week https://unitedtaichi.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/power-down-united-tai-chi-digest-21214/ For those of you not on Facebook that missed Christian’s shovel tai chi video, let me know if you want to receive it via email and I’ll bcc whatever list of folks asks me for it. The spring Chester County Night School course guide is out, and once again Christian will be teaching at East Bradford Elementary starting March 17 on Monday nights (course #FH70 at  http://www.chestercountynightschool.org )  Welcome @julian181994 from Brooklyn, @ldr49ny in New Hampshire, @idea_de_qi in Mexico and @agostinetti_a from Italy to our Twittersphere.  In WordPress reader news, highlighting our Canadian friends this Olympic week —congrats on Charles Hamelin’s gold in short track 1500m speed skating. Facebook fans of the day, Marie F from Boston Healing Tao; Uevin –a Packers fan; and Tania G, latino international film festival fan.

 Etcetera :  Formula to combat a certain approach from students in internal arts, from Sifu Anthony K of http://www.flowingzen.com  “Students pay too much attention to the physical aspects of qigong, tai chi and meditation. When it comes to maximizing your results, there is a simple equation that will help. The physical aspect is responsible for 10% of your results, the breathing aspect 30% and the meditation aspect is responsible for 60% of your results.” 

 

  • Weekly Schedule:  

 

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

[90 min., small   class attention, Tai Chi

 *$25 drop in   rate]

Thursday

 

7:00 PM

Monday night

 

Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

Pre-pay,   6-7 week . Next new session in March http://www.chestercountynightschool.org

Monday

 

7.30 PM

Thursday   morning

Tai Chi classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café

124 E. Gay St in West Chester  for price   call the Yoga Café at 484.356.8655

Thursdays

 

7:30 AM

 

 

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FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco

TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi 

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

 Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen Rice      unitedtaichi@gmail.com