Tai Chi, Qigong, and Yoga classes in Portland, Oregon.
October 07, 2013 • Comments (0)
In this short video, the host explains the principle of Yin and Yang and then she tells a folk tale that illustrates the beauty of the Tao.
August 30, 2013 • Comments (0)
July 23, 2013 • Comments (0)
I’ve met Yogis who party all weekend—drinking, smoking, eating junk food—only to do Yoga “extra hard” during the week so that they can “sweat out the bad stuff.” They’re kidding themselves.
What they don’t realize is that they’re also working in the bad stuff.
When you ingest a bunch of crap, that crap gets into your bones, your blood, your muscles, and everything. Sweating for an hour on Monday after some crazy partying on Saturday won’t make the toxins go away.
Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, Yoga, and mind-body practices are part of an overall healthy lifestyle and not magic remedies for habitual debauchery.
July 09, 2013 • Comments (0)
I attended a Muay Thai kickboxing school for a short while when I lived in New York City. During my first class the instructors yelled at me like drill sergeants. They wanted me to do everything everyone else was doing.
We ran very quickly through a bunch of exercises—jumping jacks, knee ups, push ups, etc. I took a break and went to the dressing room for some water. After sipping a few handfuls, I looked up and saw myself in the mirror. My red face was drenched in sweat. My heart was racing but slowing down. I caught my breath and went back into the gym.
The group was still going and I rejoined them for a burst of burpees. That’s when my head started to feel funny. I knew that if tried to do one more rep I would’ve fallen on my face, so I sat down. I wasn’t used to the burst, didn’t pace myself, and lost my sh*t. All of the energy drained from my body and it took everything I had to keep from passing out.
At some point one of the instructors noticed me slumped on the bench in the corner.
“Are you gonna get back in here,” he yelled.
I told him I couldn’t move. He ignored my response and kept teaching the others. I didn’t last long at that place.
Years later I found myself teaching cardio kickboxing in a small, exclusive gym in Portland. The clientele were well off, successful business types. A small group of people enjoyed my class and I enjoyed teaching them.
One day a student showed up and told me that, due to his busy schedule, he only got to work out twice a week. Since he wanted to pack as much value into those two hours as possible, he really wanted me to make him work extremely hard.
“I’m not happy unless I’m about to puke,” he told me.
I said my class wasn’t the right fit for him.
Management didn’t like me turning him away but the people who were coming to my class didn’t seem to mind that they weren’t vomiting afterwards. They were there to get fit and have fun while doing so. Still, the fitness manager offered me a position handing out towels in the locker room and I ended up leaving.
The way I see it, working out ‘til you puke is the equivalent of lifting weights until you tear a ligament. Working yourself to your edge is one thing, and crossing that edge for a bit can be good. But pushing yourself until your body collapses is not. I’m not even talking about overtraining. I’m talking about thinking that if you set yourself on fire twice weekly then you can pack the results of a progressive and routine workout into just two hours per week. It won’t work and I won’t pretend it will or facilitate it.
Ease yourself into activity. Don’t walk off the street into a high octane class and expect to keep up. If you make your workout enjoyable you’ll be that much more apt to make time for exercise. Also, make sure the instructor is interested in all of the students and is not just using the gym to support a select few athletes.
June 28, 2013 • Comments (0)
I love sharing Qigong and Tai Chi with people. Needless to say I had a blast with the folks from NW Veg last night during a Qigong and Tai Chi demonstration in Vancouver, WA.
We began with some Qigong exercises as I explained the general concepts. Then we did a simple two-person exercise, which illustrates fight, flight, and rooting. I was happy that everyone participated! We finished up by doing the first section of the Cheng Man Ching 37 posture Tai Chi form.
Tai Chi is often called “China’s gift to the world” and I am always honored to, in some small way, act as an ambassador for this amazing folk art.