This morning I woke up early and drove about an hour and a half to Chinatown New York City from Long Island with the idea of taking photos of people who gather each morning to practice Tai Chi on Mulberry Street in Columbus Park. Traffic wasn’t too bad today on the Long Island expressway so I arrived just before 7 AM.
There was plenty of metered parking on Mott St. so I parked and put money in the meter. I walked up Mosco St. to Columbus park but the park entrance gate was locked. Just then I saw a group of Tai Chi players practicing outside the park gate so I walked over to the group to take some photos. The teacher looked very familiar to me, as I got closer to the group I realized it was one of my Tai Chi teachers from almost 20 years ago from the days of when I would practice Tai Chi in the park after working the night shift(7 AM – 7 PM). Her name was Lin Sai Ying(pictured in red). It was good to see her after so much time had passed and also great to see she was still teaching and practicing Tai Chi each morning. The group moved into the park to continue practicing. I walked around the park and took a few pictures of others practicing Tai Chi and also Qigong.
I really enjoy the Tai Chi video tips that are produced by Bruce Kumar Frantzis of Energy Arts. If you are a Tai Chi beginner or an advanced Tai Chi student these tips can be a great asset to your online Tai Chi training. I was originally drawn to learn more about Bruce Frantzis because I read that he had studied Aikido and he is also a practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan. Having studied both arts myself I was intrigued and wanted to learn more about Bruce and learn his perspective. After signing up for one of his facebook pages I learned that he often posted Tai Chi tips. I found myself eagerly looking forward to watching these practical Tai Chi tips. Being a long time Tai Chi practitioner myself I already knew most of these Tai Chi tips but what they did for me was bring awareness to points that are essential to the Tai Chi form. I would watch a Tai Chi tips video and would work on that tip for a week then move to the next. After you have been through all 50 videos you can then start at number one again. Each Tai Chi tips video is only about 2 to 3 minutes long, this makes them quick, easy to understand and they will fit into your busy schedule.
These videos have enhanced my Tai Chi online training, I find them to be a fantastic addition to my training and I wanted to share them here on my blog so that if you haven’t seen them you can benefit as well. You will be glad you did!
To learn more about Bruce Frantzis and his online Tai Chi courses, Click here.
The first time I saw a Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp, I was visiting my cousin’s gift shop in Brooklyn, NY. I was immediately drawn to the corner of the store where the lamps were glowing. I remember asking, “What is that?” My cousin replied, “it is a Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp, a natural air purifier.” Being drawn to anything that benefits my health and overall well-being, I had to have one. Needless to say, I left the store that day with a salt lamp.
So what is a Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp?
A Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp is actually a large piece of pure Himalayan Salt that sits on a wooden base. There is a hole cut out in the bottom where a small, low watt bulb can be inserted. When turned on, the bulb heats the rock salt, releasing negative ions into the air that helps benefit the surrounding air quality.
Negative ions occur naturally in sunlight, during lightning storms, and generally around the movement of water (ex. at waterfalls, by ocean waves, etc.). Due to the presence of negative ions, people tend to feel refreshed, better in sunlight and/or nearby large bodies of water such as the ocean or the beach.
Since air naturally holds small amounts of water, the water carries substances like mold, bacteria, and allergens through the air. Salt lamps have hygroscopic properties, in which they attract water. Water vapor is attracted to the lamp, where the water is then evaporated, leaving the air cleaner and overall healthier.
I have had my Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp for quite a few years; I turn it on almost every day. I am not exactly sure about the scientific air purification claims, but it does make sense to me. One thing I do know is that I do feel calmer and there is a more “Zen-like” feeling in my home whenever my salt lamp is glowing.
If you are interested in meeting others interested in Tai Chi near you visit a Tai Chi Meetup held in your local area. Some of the Meetup topic groups include Qi Gong · Meditation · Martial Arts · Wellness · Internal Martial Arts · Tai Chi Push Hands · Alternative Medicine · Yoga · Healthy Living · Self-Improvement.
MARTIAL ART SCHOOLS IN YOUR AREA
Locating a Martial Art school in your area shouldn’t be a difficult task, use the search method below to help find a martial art school near you.
*Note: The utility above is operated by dojosinfo.com. I make no recommendations for the products or services provided by the martial art schools found using this search.
If you are interested in private Yang Style Tai Chi lessons in the Suffolk County, Long Island area please contact me here.
I have been training in Martial Arts for most of my life. I began studying Jiu Jitsu and then more intently in Aikido, Qigong and Tai Chi Chuan. I realized that the spiritual practice of these arts has really enhanced my life, through martial art training my life was not just good it was better!
I came up with the Life is Better!®Yin and Yang With a Smile T-Shirt design to proudly showcase the positive impact Martial Arts, Meditation and Tai Chi have had on my life.
Click here to see more Martial Art T-Shirt designs.
Last night I attended the New York premiere of “the Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West” directed by Barry Strugatz at the Museum of the Moving Image June 9th, 2016 in Astoria, Queens New York. I have anticipated this release of this feature documentary for some time now. I learned of the film a few years ago while perusing kickstarter.com. When I learned the NY premiere was to be shown in Astoria Queens I knew I had to check it out.
Cheng Man Ching was William C.C. Chen’s Tai Chi teacher. My Tai Chi teacher Bob Klein was a student of William C.C. Chen. I am a daily practitioner of William C.C. Chen‘s sequence of Cheng Man Ching’s short form.
This was the first time I had attended the Museum of The Moving Image. When I entered the museum I noticed moving images being projected on the wall. As I walked by the wall I could feel my equilibrium being affected. The motion was a good way of letting you know you were in fact in the Museum of Moving Images. I was impressed with the museum and noticed quite a few people congregating in the lobby. Immediately I was glad to see there would be a good turnout for the premiere.
Upon entering the small theater I noticed the curtain was a pattern of images giving the optical illusion of vibration, this was distracting to me as the main focal point since you are basically looking forward most of the time. Quickly the theater filled with people and the conversations around me seemed to be about Tai Chi and which of Cheng Man Ching’s students and family were in attendance.
“and if it had no truth in it, it won't last. Whether it's professor Cheng or not, it doesn't matter. If it has that, it will stay up for ever, there will be other people picking it up.”
– Ed Young
I was hoping the feature documentary was not a compilation of all I had previously seen surfing Cheng Man Ching on the Internet. I have also read quite a few books written by Cheng Man Ching and his students. I had good knowledge of the life of Cheng Man Ching and many stories of his teachings. As the documentary began I realized that a lot of the photos and footage I had already seen online and in books, however, the quality was much better so it was definitely worthwhile to see. I don’t think there was anything I learned that I didn’t already know about Cheng Man Ching’s life from the film. I learned more about Cheng Man Ching and his interaction with students such as Maggie Newman, Ken Van Sickle, Carol Yamasaki, Ed Young, Robert Morningstar. The film really showcased what it was like being introduced to Tai Chi in New York’s Chinatown in the '60s and how Professor Cheng’s students carried with them his teachings throughout their lives. During the film I really enjoyed the commentary from the students, the commentary was immediately followed by film or still photos of the students interacting with Professor Cheng Man Ching during his Tai Chi classes.
For any practitioner of Cheng Man Ching’s short form, this is a must see. Anyone interested in Tai Chi or learning something more about the life of Cheng Man Ching I think you will enjoy it.
What really enhanced the viewing of the documentary was the QA at the end of the film. Ed Young, Kevin Van Sickle, and Barry Strugatz answered questions fed by the audience. Seeing Ed Young, Robert Morningstar, Kevin Van Sickle, Bill Phillips, and Cheng Man Ching’s children added to the effect of the film. I am glad I got to see this film at this venue.
“On the last Saturday of April each year at 10 am, tens of thousands in hundreds of cities, in over 70 nations come together… to breathe together… to provide a healing vision for our world. Be a part of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2013 on Long Island. Help spread the word!” – worldtaichiday.org
Shorefront Park in Patchogue Long Island is one of the many locations around the world to hold this Tai Chi and Qigong event. This years event was held from 10 am to 12 pm Saturday April 30th 2016. The weather was great, check out the images below to see a few of Suffolk County’s Tai Chi teachers such as Bob Klein, Jean Goulet Klein, Spencer Gee, Teresa White, Chris Jurak, Alan Sims, Laurince McElroy demonstrating forms and teaching free workshops to the public.
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is always a great day to watch, learn and participate in Tai Chi for free! For more information visit worldtaichiday.org and find the location nearest you.
Tonight, I was perusing the website of Chen Zhonghua – Chen Taiji Practical Method and decided to register pay and watch a video. The site is secure and accepts PayPal or credit card payments. The videos are relatively inexpensive and range in price from $1 – $20. For $5 dollars I had access to a video that taught me something about the Tai Chi Push that has eluded me for many years. The explanation and demonstration were both excellent and clearly gave me the insight I was looking for.
If you are a beginner, novice or a Tai Chi expert I highly recommend Chen Zhonghua’s skills and teaching ability to enhance your online Tai Chi training. Visit the Chen Practical Method website and give it a try, you will be glad you did.
I have often read online that Tai Chi cures and reduces anxiety. I do not feel that Tai Chi practice alone can cure anxiety but it can definitely help. Tai Chi can teach you to learn the feeling of relaxation necessary in order to cope with anxiety symptoms. This is especially taught during fixed step Push Hands, this is a two-person teaching tool in Tai Chi practice. Two people stand in a 70/30 bow stance posture facing each other, through touch try to find each others center of balance. When a Tai Chi player stiffens up, their center of balance is exposed and they are easily pushed over. To hide this center of balance, your weight is shifted over each leg to neutralize the push, you neutralize the line of attack by relaxing, neutralizing, grounding and returning the incoming force of energy. Through this practice, you can understand that you become stronger through relaxation and proper body alignment.
“Strength is not born from strength. Strength can be born only from weakness. So be glad of your weaknesses now, they are the beginnings of your strength.”
– Dr. Claire Weekes
Three books I highly recommend to overcome anxiety:
“Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
– Dr. Harry Barry
Four Steps to Overcoming Anxiety by Dr. Claire Weekes:
FACING what you fear (instead of avoiding it) – (Fighting the fear will only keep your nerves sensitized and make the problem worse by releasing more Adrenalin.) ACCEPTING your symptoms, the fear, the situation. FLOATING – not resisting or fighting the fear. LETTING TIME PASS – allowing time for a full recovery, full recovery depends on repeated experiences of being in the situations you fear and learning that you are ok. This will begin to reduce and reverse the triggering of Adrenalin.
While these Four Steps are simple, they do take persistence and patience (with yourself) – your nervous system has become conditioned to react in this sensitized, anxious way and it takes time to reverse the process. If you practice these Four Steps you will slowly desensitize yourself.
Instead of being fearful of panic symptoms, change your perception of them, look at them as practice for you to practice for the Four Steps to Recovery.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
– Wayne W. Dyer
Do you remember the movie Poltergeist? I found the below video on YouTube called “Go into the Light”, to me this shows one of the key components to curing anxiety. Relax and give in to your fear. “There is peace and serenity in the light.” Once you give in to what you fear most you will see, it no longer has a hold on you.
This is definitely not easily done especially when you first try.
“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me, the danger is very real, But fear is a choice.”
– Will Smith “After Earth” (2013)
As Dr’ Weekes said in her four steps to overcoming anxiety; Face, Accept, Float and Let Time Pass. If you practice this every time you experience anxious feelings, in time you will start to reverse your reaction of Adrenalin release.
Lucinda Bassett wrote in her book From Panic to Power that if you are a creative person you might be more susceptible to panic attacks. Creative people have such vivid imaginations and use their own imagination to scare themselves. We have a choice, we can think positively or negatively about our future. Start replacing your negative “What if” thoughts with positive ones. I bet that you are scaring yourself and thinking negatively about your future. This also takes practice, catch yourself, whenever you think negatively replace the thought with a positive one.
L-theanine is an amino acid known to promote relaxation and is derived from Green tea leaves. If you are unaware of this amino acid, you can read more about it at suntheanine.com.
How to overcome anxiety
If you find yourself frantically searching online for Anxiety Cures the answer is in the below FREE video “How to overcome Anxiety” by Dr. Harry Barry.
The best advice I could give you is to watch this video over and over again until it makes sense. Then watch it again and again.
Disclaimer: *The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any treatment purposes. This information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Depending on the length of a Tai Chi form, it can often take a person more than a year to learn a Tai Chi sequence and/or a lifetime to perfect it. One of the things that intrigued me the most about Tai Chi is that you can never perfect it, and so begins the journey. The Yang Tai Chi short form I practice takes me about twelve minutes to complete each day. Not everyone has the time or dedication to devote to Tai Chi practice. We live in a very fast-paced environment and when someone is not working or constantly on the go, they want to just relax and De-stress by watching TV. For those people, I recommend Qigong, also referred to as Chi Kung or Chi Gung, which literally means “Life Energy Cultivation”. For a more in-depth definition of Qigong, visit Wikipedia.
Take a look at the video below which shows a short Qigong exercise routine that can easily be performed each morning or at any time of the day.
In our Tai Chi class, we warm up with Qigong exercises and most students feel an immediate benefit of Qigong. I believe this is because a person is not overwhelmed by the Qigong movements, the movements are very simply performed.
I am a strong believer in exercise, anything is better than nothing. If you can only do one Qigong exercise in this video, do it and it will enhance your life.