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Healing T’ai Chi
The award-winning blog of seated exercises based on Qigong and Yang style T’ai Chi for people of all ages and levels of fitness.
” If you open yourself to insight,
you are at one with insight
and you can use it completely.”
Tao Te Ching, #23, Translated by S. Mitchell
“Mindfulness” is one of two characteristics of T’ai Chi and Qigong that distinguishes these exercise systems from our modern, Western exercises. Whether you’re in a spinning class, lifting weights, jogging, doing sit-ups or push-ups, your mind is completely disengaged from what your body is doing.
T’ai Chi and Qigong, on the other hand, require complete engagement of your mind in directing the pattern of your breathing and the movement of your energy or ch’i through and to, specific areas of the body. Awareness of your environment is another mind-directed activity that is part of the practice of these ancient arts, comprising the second characteristic of T’ai Chi and Qigong that differentiates them from our Western exercise systems.
We are, after all, surrounded by molecules of air and all our movements involve an exchange between the electromagnetic energy in the air around us and the energy contained within our bodies. Awareness of all this activity within and without is paramount if we wish to fully benefit from what are otherwise very simple exercises.
Benefits – This exercise is similar to the Butterfly described in a previous post though the arm movements are somewhat different. We are again opening the chest, allowing fresh air to enter the lungs while moving energy to and through the arms all the way to the fingertips.
Posture – Your posture remains the same throughout this exercise. Feet should be flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Your hips should be tucked under so that the flat of your back is supported by the back of your chair.
- Hands begin at your waist, palms upward. Inhale.
- Exhale and move your arms straight in front of you with the elbows slightly bent.
- Inhale again and move your arms out to your sides. Quickly flip your hands so they now face downward.
- Exhale and circle your arms back to your waist twisting your hands so they face upward again. Inhale and hold your position.
- Exhale and repeat the exercise 12 times if possible.
→ Remember the most important part of this exercise is to engage your mind as you push the energy through your arms and then return it to the center of your body. “Feel” the molecules as you move your arms through the air. At no time, should your elbows be locked (they are always slightly bent).←
This is a bad time of the year for colds and flu. Try the pressure point, Letting Go (Lu 1), to relieve the symptoms.
- You can find this point 3 finger-widths below your collarbone on the outer part of your chest.
- Press firmly on this point with your thumbs on each side for at least a full minute.
Benefits: This effective point can be used as often as necessary and is useful to relieve breathing difficulties due to asthma, chest congestion, coughing or chest tension due to emotional distress.
Don’t forget to drink water at the end of your exercise session or any time you begin to feel thirsty. A Word of Caution…If you have or have had problems with your kidneys, please consult your physician regarding the amount of water appropriate for your condition.
Tough economic times challenge us to cut back on expenses and go back to the basics. For help, click on the featured links below:
Find great deals on home exercise equipment at the Exercise Equipment Super Store.
T’ai Chi in a Chair: Easy 15-Minute Routines for Beginners is now available exclusively at Barnes and Noble.
~The exercises in this blog are intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.~