HEALING T’AI CHI
T’ai Chi in a Chair: Easy 15-Minute Routines for Beginners is now available at Barnes and Noble
Find great deals on home exercise equipment at the Exercise Equipment Super Store
Tao Te Ching, #40, Translated by S. Mitchell
We’ve discussed the importance of proper and deep breathing in a previous post. Now it’s time to consider how movement and breathing fit together for the best results from each exercise session. Whether you are practicing T’ai Chi as a martial art or as a healing art, coordinating your breath with your movements is central to the effective practice of both standing and seated T’ai Chi.
Movement always follows breath. Think of your mind as a puppet master, the strings as your breath and the marionette as your body. In each of these exercises, your mind initiates and controls each movement. You breathe in to bring the energy or ch’i from the lower dan tien to the part of your body that will be in motion. That breath then energizes your arms, legs or torso so that they can move. To put it another way, mind directs the breath which, in turn, leads the movements of the body.
Exercise #9 – Turtle
Benefits: This exercise will stretch your neck and shoulders and strengthen the muscles of your abdomen and diaphragm.
Posture: Sit with your feet flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. Sit up tall and straight allowing your back to be supported by the back of your chair.
Begin with your hands resting on your thighs. Take a deep breath in through your nose.
Stretch your neck and press down on your shoulders while turning your palms toward the floor. Bend your head back slightly and look up at the ceiling as though you are a turtle extending its neck and legs out of its shell.
As you breathe out through your mouth, begin to bend your head downward a bit and bring your arms in front of your abdomen as though retreating back into your shell. Tighten your abdomen as much as you can.
Repeat the exercise at least 9 times.
Use the acupressure point called Shoulder Well to enhance your exercise session. Regular use of this effective pressure point will relieve a stiff neck, shoulder tension and poor circulation.
Measure 1 to 2 inches from the base of your neck on the highest point on your shoulder.
Press firmly on the point where you feel the most pain or stiffness.
Hold your middle or index fingers on this point on each side of your neck for at least 30 seconds.
Warning: Pregnant women should only press very lightly on this acupressure point.
~~~The information in 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.~~~