Anxiety

Anxiety

Many of our students have told us that qigong and tai chi have helped them to deal with anxiety - especially the anxiety around having a major medical issue. Some of our students have mentioned this as one of the greatest benefits they’ve found in their practice. 

I can identify with this. Though I have not experienced severe clinical anxiety, I have struggled with anxiety throughout my life, and qigong and tai chi have helped tremendously. In addition to providing much relief, the practices have helped me to develop the internal awareness to be more present with uncomfortable feelings and identify when I am experiencing anxiety.

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Protect Your Spine By Learning to Use Your Kwa

Protect Your Spine By Learning to Use Your Kwa

NPR recently ran a piece about how bending from the hips, rather than the waist can help people avoid straining their backs. If you google ‘hip-hinge,’ you’ll see that a lot of people in the fitness world have been writing about it as well. 

This a fundamental skill in tai chi and qigong. We call it 'folding from the kwa,’ and we teach it with an emphasis on relaxation and healthy postural alignment. 

Kwa is a Chinese term that refers to an area of the body that extends from the inguinal groove (the crease in the front of your body where each leg meets your torso) through the inside of the body to the crest of the pelvis. It includes the hip joint, the iliopsoas and adductor muscle groups, and other structures in and around this area, including the largest collection of lymph nodes in the body. 

When the kwa is supple and well integrated into the movements of your body, it facilitates the smooth transfer of power from the legs through the spine and upper body. When the kwa is tight or not being used well, a multitude of problems can arise, including undue pressure on the knees and spine.

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3,000-Year-Old Posture Advice

3,000-Year-Old Posture Advice

I want to share with you some ideas about posture which have stood the test of time in a serious way. There is a longstanding tradition from China of standing for prolonged periods of time as a health exercise. And these postural principles, which have been refined over thousands of years, are radically different from the predominant posture advice of our age. 

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