HEALING T’AI CHI
T’ai Chi in a Chair: Easy 15-Minute Routines for Beginners is now available at Barnes and Noble
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Tao Te Ching, #41, Translated by S. Mitchell
Balance is central to the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is the principle underlying T’ai Chi. The ancient Chinese believed that spiritual, mental, physical or emotional imbalance is the reason for all illnesses. Dis-ease is caused by a lack of ease somewhere in the body, mind or soul, rooted in a lack of balance between the yin or female principle and the yang or male principle. If these two elements are not in balance and at ease with one another, illness or injury will surely follow.
Each movement in the following exercises involves a soft activity (yin) and a hard activity (yang). In general, whenever you are breathing in, the movement will be soft. Whenever you are breathing out, the motion of your arms or legs will be hard, the muscles tightening, the movement forceful. Keep that in mind as you follow the instructions for the exercise below.
Exercise #8 – Push Up on Sky/Press Down on Earth
Imagine yourself occupying the space between the sky (yang) and the earth (yin). By touching each, you are connecting with the energies of both.
Benefits – This exercise will help balance your yin and yang as it stretches your arm muscles and trims your waistline.
Posture – Sit against the back of your chair so that your back is completely supported. Your feet should be flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Sit up straight, shoulders pressed down, head held high.
Begin with your hands resting on your thighs. Take a deep breath in through your nose. This is a yin motion so your muscles should be completely relaxed.
As you breathe out through your mouth, bring your right arm up with the palm facing the ceiling, pressing upward. At the same time, press downward with your left hand, palm facing the floor. This is yang so tighten your muscles and press upward and downward as hard as you can.
As your arms return to your thighs, breathe in and relax your arms.
Change arms and repeat the exercise, paying particular attention to the difference between the yin and yang movements.
Repeat for a total of 18 times alternating arms each time.
Use the following acupressure point to enhance your exercise session. The point is called Crooked Pond and is very effective to stimulate the immune system.
Bend your left arm in front of your chest.
Press your right thumb against the pressure point at the end of the crease just below the upper arm bone.
Hold this point for at least 30 seconds then reverse arms and hold your thumb at the Crooked Pond pressure point on the other side for another 30 seconds.
~~~The information on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a physician or medical practitioner. Please see your health care provider before beginning any new fitness program.~~~