Tag Archives: Philosophy

How to Own your T’ai Chi Form

T’ai Chi is beautiful. There’s nothing quite like watching the grace and power of a talented T’ai Chi practitioners as they effortlessly float from one posture to the next. The strength, flexibility, and dexterity demonstrated can be awe inspiring.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our form doesn’t quite live up to the aesthetics found in a gifted performance.  Try as we might, our bodies just don’t seem to be able to bend or hold the positions the way we’d like them to. It can be terribly discouraging, especially after you’ve spent years studying the art only to see someone much younger, and more limber, easily execute a move that you still have difficulty performing.

But, is a pretty, aesthetically pleasing form really what we should be striving for? Isn’t T’ai Chi designed as a martial art? -As a method for moving vital energy through our body to improve health?

How can we make the T’ai Chi form our own, even when we fail to perform the movements the way we imagine they ought to be done.

Continue reading How to Own your T’ai Chi Form

Book Review: ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer… Why It’s One of My Favorite T’ai Chi Books

A while back, I was doing some pretty intense HIIT training and quite a bit of running during my morning routine. I was working on building my aerobic endurance for kickboxing.

After about 12 weeks of this type of training, I noticed that the heels of my feet would really hurt when I woke up, first thing in the morning. The pain continued as time went on and eventually it got to the point where it became hard to exercise or even walk.

I ended up seeing a podiatrist, who quickly diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis, a foot injury common among runners that happens when the tendon leading under the foot becomes inflamed and painful. The Doctor prescribed some pain meds, a pair of foot inserts, and a special brace for me to wear at night.

I was okay with his treatment until he told me that I wouldn’t be able to run anymore.

Now, I’ve never been a really competitive runner, but it’s always been a part of my exercise routine to run a few miles as a warm up and also to clear my mind for training. I’d been running since Middle School and it just didn’t feel right to give it up.

I started searching the internet for ways to deal with this injury and found a group of barefoot runners. These are people who run without shoes and rely on special running techniques to protect their feet from injury. Without shoes, they are compelled to run very deliberately, making sure that only the proper areas of their feet come in contact with the ground.

After giving my feet some time to heal, I began to try the barefoot running technique and quickly became hooked: I found that without shoes, I could learn to run more naturally and with greater awareness.

I started slowly, running first on grass before eventually building up to pavement. As I improved, I continued to search for and practice everything I could find on natural running techniques.  That’s when I discovered the book that changed everything for me; Danny Dreyer’s ChiRunning.

(Now, I need to mention that Chi Running IS NOT about running barefoot. Danny Dreyer recommends his techniques are practiced in  proper running shoes. –Now, I still like to run barefoot because it feels very natural and forces me to stay honest to the technique.)

Danny Dreyer’s insights into both running and T’ai Chi are actually quite amazing…

Continue reading Book Review: ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer… Why It’s One of My Favorite T’ai Chi Books

Welcome to Embrace T’ai Chi

What is Embrace T’ai Chi?

Embrace T’ai Chi is a lifestyle blog for the T’ai Chi enthusiast.

There a lot of Lifestyle blogs on the internet that cover everything from golf, to cooking, to sailing, or fishing, crafts, relationships, dance, politics, cars, you name it! But it’s hard to find a website that discusses the way that T’ai Chi affects the lives of the people who practice this remarkable art

T’ai Chi people are special. Although the art shares many similarities to other pursuits like yoga, meditation, karate, or kung fu; The particular way this art is practiced puts it in a class of its very own. Those that train T’ai Chi deserve a place where they can explore and discover, as well as share their own experiences while practicing this unique lifestyle.

Of course there are a lot websites that cover a particular style or lineage of T’ai Chi. Many delve into the specific history and traditions of a school or organization. These sites offer a wealth of information and detail to the student wishing to learn that specific brand of the art.

But what’s missing on the Internet is a place to get the ‘Big Picture’ of T’ai Chi practice. Something that goes beyond a set of forms or traditions and asks the question “What does it mean to live the T’ai Chi Way?” Continue reading Welcome to Embrace T’ai Chi