Tag Archives: Jan Kauskas

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

BALANCED: United Tai Chi digest 6/10/14

YinYangSoccer (2)

  • When more than one sign, hint, talk, message of a certain topic appears on your radar in the same week you can’t help but take notice. An out-of-state friend sent me a necklace in the mail last week with a Yin-Yang pendant, no doubt as a reminder to me to keep things in perspective and at peace. Likewise in our own tai chi classes recently there has been much more discussion of the Yin/Yang principles in our form work, including the grand example of the changing arc of Brush Knee. And lastly, this was mirrored by some interpersonal issues outside of class as well. The up and the down, the soft and the hard, the dark and the light, the earth and the heaven. In our internal arts study we learn that without yin, there can be no yang –a symbiotic relationship that keeps us from falling down, in more ways than one.  In  Laoshi: Tai Chi, Teachers and Pursuit of Principle, Jan Kauskas comments “Many people who come to study tai chi have been indirectly taught from a young age that expressing yang energy is wrong, and so they repress this energy, both in themselves and others. This does not mean the potential expression of yang energy simply disappears when repressed; it tends to resurface in various unhealthy ways. It disguises itself and emerges as passive aggression, depression, or other health problems. Because it is part of who we are, yang energy does not cease to exist if its expression is thwarted. It stays with us because there will be times when it is needed. Rather than deny our energy, we would be better off to become friends with it, to understand its place, or it may well destroy us.”  Every once in a while I come to see, feel, or reluctantly admit to myself that, for better or worse, I have often tried to suppress the Yang in myself. Externally expressing the soft, the quite, the reserved or the polite, a yin display.  But now the (golden?) roosters have come home to nest, and a keen eye might start to see the edges leaking out towards a path of depression.  But just as in at least one other of my past blogs that allude to patience , fortunately there comes along once in a while a golden light of conversation that lets me know when I am being too yin, tame, mild, reserved or polite.  Something reflected back in someone’s eyes, words or expressions. Here is hoping that you and I can all share in an equal amount of both sides of the circle.

 

 

  • Shares/Finds: One of our students Ted Nawalinski has some articles for Traditional Chinese Culture International’s blog site http://www.SilentTao.com  which is run by his training partner Shawn Cartwright.
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  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Reviewed a few pieces of the Golden Lotus Qigong set. Discussion about staying within your own frame or balance structure for difficult postures at first in order to feel comfortable in the position before you can grow. Growing like a tree de-stressor. In afternoon and evening class both, some more discussion and demonstration about Yin and Yang –the energies, the changeovers, showing where the yin part of a posture is and the yang (brush knee demonstration), also even in the eyes (yin/bedroom eyes vs. angry yang eyes).  Coiling and uncoiling and how we find that throughout. Drills on ward off and scoop the water. The tailbone of the palm as a driver and rooter. The ‘pump’ that is our transition from heaven hand to earth hand filling up our ward offs. NEW CLASS ALERT: Through Chester County Night School the next tai chi multi-session class is at Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester; both Monday & Wednesday nights 7.30p, June 16-30, cost $52. Purchase  through Chester County Night School

 

  • Student News & Events: Christian and some of our United Tai Chi students joined Master John Armstrong’s group at a street festival for a tai chi demonstration and music in Philadelphia this past weekend, photos available on our FB page; great weather and a great time was had by those attending. While visiting Ireland last month, Paul M found an interesting Tai Chi apparatus on a footpath north of Dublin Bay, see photo on our FB page. Claudia is off to Europe to spend some time with her folks for a few weeks, we wish her well. New early morning Golden Lotus Qigong class coming soon. Thanks Janet Rouss of Get Real Branding for finding our blog and sharing it with your Twitter followers.  Social Media Roundup: In the twittersphere, welcome new followers @RaulPujolM, @JanetRouss, @RogerJahnke  and @torontoben.  Perhaps in prep for the Fifa World Cup Soccer tournament soon, a reader in Brazil viewed our Force Majeure blog topic.  Inching closer to 3,000 total views overall on our WordPress site soon. Hey local student Ellen W, thanks for joining our Facebook page!  Thank you to all of our Brazilian followers –World Cup 2014 futbol fans for sure (that’s soccer to those of us in the US).

 

  • Weekly Schedule:

 

DAY

LOCATION

PRICE

TIME

Monday

  • Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

 

  • Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA,  pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed , through Chester County Night School.  Starts June 16

Membership

 

$52 whole session

7.30 am

 

7.30 pm

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

 

  1. Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA, pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed, through Chester County Night School.  Starts June 16

Membership

 

$52 whole session

7.30 am

 

7.30 pm

Thursday

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

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

Membership

 

$25 drop-in

(90 mins)

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     

Force Majeure: United Tai Chi digest 5/27/14

Force

  • The great philosophers Kenny Loggins and Steve Perry once said, “Don’t fight it, it’ll do your heart so good.” In tai chi we learn not to meet force with force. And in my recent readings the concept of control, will, or force has popped up again. Were you like me this holiday weekend, missing someone you were trying to be with, when they had other plans?  Jan Kauskas relays some messages for all of us in Laoshi: Tai Chi, Teachers and Pursuit of Principle, including this great line, “The more you try to control life, the more you imprison yourself. You will experience greater and greater tension and so less and less joy, happiness and love. Once you understand the only way to control the universe is to realize you can’t, there is a wonderful freedom. It takes away the pressure that goes with trying to force things to your will”. Internal arts like tai chi are about redirecting energy, getting downwind of a direct hit, an attack, a circumstance that we shouldn’t try to barrel through with aggression, anger, whining, trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Relaxing into an uncomfortable spot instead of muscling into it. Patience, looseness, letting go of the need for control are an ongoing process of growth.  Thank you guys for keeping me honest and afloat, even in the dark spaces. And PS, if you watched that YouTube video for Loggins/Perry I linked to at the top of this essay, hopefully you are feeling a lot happier.

 

 

  • Shares/Finds: Peter Morgan’s article as a guest writer for Yang-Shen.com, regarding yin and yang in the work/life balance.  Link to where I reviewedLaoshi: Tai Chi, Teachers and Pursuit of Principle” for SlantedFlying. And a short Bruce Frantzis video on relaxing the muscles of the face.
  •  
  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Recent warm ups include Ten Breaths, Serve the Fruit and Thirteen Postures. A few split-class sessions with Part I Yang 108 learners and Part II reviewers.  Some beginner sword form demo at Blue Buddha. Worked on some standing meditations/holding postures. Tuesday first afternoon class since moving to Lionville Y and welcomed 2 new students. Great discussion on the hard (martial) arts and internal arts –and how practitioners of either one, end up over time at the same place inside. ‘Building a bridge’ with your limbs analogy for our Elbow, Press, Shoulder posture transitions in The 13 Postures form. Nice tree qigong set outdoors at Blue Buddha on Saturday.  NEW CLASS ALERT: Through Chester County Night School the next tai chi multi-session class is at Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester; both Monday & Wednesday nights 7.30p, June 16-30, cost $52. Purchase  through Chester County Night School

 

  • Student News & Events: Thanks very much to Sifu Huang, the Dragon Gym, the Samuelsons, the Tolberts, Master Armstrong and several United Tai Chi students and other local practitioners who participated in the 2-day tai chi workshop on May 17-18. Some pictures are on our FB page. Heard from Steve G via text earlier from his Bikram Yoga studies out west this month, he misses practicing with us and shared this reminder As soon as you meet that point of resistance you have the opportunity to grow, breathe into it & let go.” Thanks Lionville Holistic Health Center for ‘sharing’ one of our FB posts.  Thanks Esther for your commentary on our Mothers Day video on Facebook. Birthday shout-outs to students Steve G and Christine H. Thanks Carl for volunteering to hit some tennis balls with me last week (any other locals interested, message me).  Thank you Michael DeMarco from Via Media Publishing for contacting me about my book review on SlantedFlying.com.  Social Media Roundup: a huge thanks to “Best Tai Chi Videos” FB site for ‘sharing’ our Practice cartoon that we found on Pinterest/Tumblr with all their followers.  That led to a huge influx of new Facebook fans for us the week of May 19, welcome and thanks for your interest.   In the twittersphere, welcome new followers @tamaraliving, @TempioTaiChi, @SamoanRockyJoe, @Ras_Corby_VEMMA and @bcaccavale.  Welcome a reader in Ireland to our last WordPress digest read. 

 

  • Weekly Schedule:

 

DAY

LOCATION

PRICE

TIME

Monday

  • Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

 

  • Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA,  pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed , through Chester County Night School.  Starts June 16

Membership

 

$52 whole session

7.30 am

 

7.30 pm

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

 

  1. Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA, pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed, through Chester County Night School.  Starts June 16

Membership

 

$52 whole session

7.30 am

 

7.30 pm

Thursday

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

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

Membership

 

$25 drop-in

(90 mins)

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. Outdoors at Everhart Park. West Chester

 

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

__?

 

$25 drop-in

(90 min)

9:00 AM

 

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