Tag Archives: FlowingZen.com

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

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Mood Disorder: United Tai Chi digest 7/21/14

  • Just as there can be no light without darkness in our yin-yang principles, so too at times follows our spirit, mind and heart. Depression and anxiety affect more than half of us at some time or other in our lives. Grief, loss, trauma, anger, loneliness –be it temporary or chronic. Mental health professionals like Maryellen Copeland include in her ‘toolbox’ for the WRAP program (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) complimentary mind-body approaches like fitness, meditation and access to daylight.  Peter Wayne of the Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi cites the social support aspect of one if the ‘Eight Active Ingredients’ in the benefit modality of internal arts like Tai Chi. Sifu Anthony Korahais of flowingzen.com has discussed depression here, including how Qigong provided him with solutions in his own recovery, removing obstacles that block the smooth flow of body energy.  Bruce Frantzis (Tai Chi Health For Life) reminds us that tai chi helps create “stronger internal organs that can better withstand powerful emotional outbursts…strengthening the kidneys may help depression to a limited degree”.  He also indicates you can “change or mask your true feelings with your breath…feeling depressed and shallow breathing, you’ll feel better to consciously start deep regular breathing” (Opening The Energy Gates of Your Body).  In a recent qigong-in-the-park session our own instructor talked again about the postures that “bring heaven to the earth, and bring the earth to the heavens”.  A posture to suggest we can achieve and enjoy the best of ourselves, the best of our daily lives, a heavenly place on earth. Depression is often a debilitating condition –to the spirit, mind and body; and as such may sometimes require the paired approaches of traditional counseling, Western medicine, and holistic or Eastern philosophies combined into a multi-dimensional approach.  Quick and easy ‘magic wand’ remedies don’t exist, nor would that be a lasting effect. Growing your support network, changing patterns, opening up blockages and cultivating energy can help to start us on the path of wellness.  A path that often is several miles long.  All the best to you in your discussions on mental health issues and internal arts. 

 

 

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes: There must have been several events on 7/10, as Jose didn’t find any fellow students at the Y class in the afternoon.  Some of our students and friends worked on a sword form with Master Armstrong and Ted N at the Dragon Gym on the 13th. Afternoon drills on ward-off, kwa opening, and parry-redirect (with a nod to Thomas’s English Muffins). Welcome back Maria.  Thirteen postures. Turning versus twisting. Brush knee review. Keeping the shoulders dropped. Steve’s yin-yang socks. Thanks Ted for the poster/chart/infographic that I put on our FB page about Tai c hi benefits.  Working on metaphorically getting all of our tribes back in harmony, and the importance of continued practice outside of class. Weekend afternoon Blue Buddha class we ventured into some of our bagua animal qigong practice (Phoenix, Bear, Lion, Dragon, etc.), and reviewed more information about our kidney positions and how that impacts our tai chi practice.

 

 

  • Student News & Events: Master Wei Lun Huang will be in the Philadelphia area once again this year, so here is another chance to study with this tai chi master if you missed his Dragon Gym workshop in May.  He will be at the Masonic Lodge in Broomall PA starting the afternoon of Friday September 19, concluding late afternoon Sunday September 21. Liu Hi Ba Fa, Push Hands, Tai chi and Qigong. Stay tuned for updates on our social media sites, or I can send you a pricing sheet via email if you are interested. Also reach Sifu Tom Hardy for questions at 610-353-8609. Welcome back Claudia. I heard from Jaclyn who was practicing and teaching her tai chi at the beach earlier this month and says “Practicing at the ocean’s edge is inspiring and opening. Breathing and moving with the sound of the ocean is the best music to practice the 108 movements of the Yang style”. Hoping Marcia Z’s husband is doing better. Good to hear from Aruna who has been hosting some guests from India recently. Good to see a large class attendance on Wednesday morning. The National Qigong Association has their annual conference July 25 to 27 in King of Prussia PA, see info here.   Social Media Roundup: In the Twittersphere, welcome new followers @jinky_lion, @UnifiedMAAm @LCTDK and @D_awansetiawan. On Facebook, three-quarters of our followers are men, and we welcome a topic suggestion or guest quote for next month on health/wellness benefits you find with internal arts specific to your practice.  Thank you to fans in the United Kingdom for your readership support on our WordPress site and out Twitter page!

 

 

  • General Weekly Schedule:

 

DAY

LOCATION

PRICE

TIME

Tuesday

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

  1. Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

Membership

 

$15 drop-in

4.45 pm

 

7.15 pm

Wednesday

  1. Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

 

Membership

 

7.30 am

 

Thursday

  1. Miller Park  220 Miller Way (off of Waterloo Blvd) Exton PA   Drop in whichever hour you can attend, it is $15 per hour

 

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

  1. Lionville Holistic Health Center Natural Pharmacy, 309 Gordon Drive in Exton PA

$15 p/hour

 

 

Membership

 

$25 drop-in

(90 mins)

6.30am to 8.30a

 

4.45 pm

 

7.00 pm

Friday

  1. Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA

 

  1. Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request

Membership

 

See instructor

7.30 am

 

See instructor

Saturday

  1. Blue Buddha Studio, 1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

$25 drop-in

(90 min)

12:00 pm

 

  • 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