I’ve learnt a lot about recovery from illness in the last 12 months. I realise now how difficult it can be, and in particular how easily muscle wastage can happen, and how quickly it actually takes place; it really doesn’t take very long at all. I taught almost every day through the 2 years of Covid. I was in front of the screen constantly demonstrating; there was no opportunity to stand back to observe how the rest of the class was doing because, with about 70 people doing
Who is Moving? Most of us think of ourselves ‘travelling through time’ – we start the day, the sun has risen; we finish the day, the sun has set. It’s as though we’re in a car and moving from A to B – starting the journey, passing various sights and events along the way, and arriving. The road stayed where it was, and we moved along it, and, in doing so, other things changed simultaneously… e.g. we passed a variety of sights, we stopped for a coffee, it rained, and so on. H
Over the last year, following a bereavement in Autumn 2020, I learnt what you might call a technique that I thought was very relevant to both tai chi and qigong. Not being in a very good place at that time, a friend, who was a counsellor, offered to give me a session to try to help me. I readily accepted, and what he suggested to me tied in so closely with what I do in Tai Chi and Qigong that I thought it was worth passing it on in case it was able to help anyone else. As he
Going with the ups & the downs.
How do you ‘convert’ one movement to another in Tai Chi or Qigong?
Perhaps, if I can understand these changes, for example, when the body starts to move back when it’s been going forwards, or turns left when it’s been turning right, I’ll be able to use it as a tool to understand the way in which I deal with change in my everyday life. So, if I can make sense of that transition in Tai Chi and understand how to make it feel unforced and comfor
Relaxation v. De-stressing.
You might think that relaxation is the same thing as de-stressing, but there’s a difference. De-stressing can use a variety of techniques that don’t necessarily involve relaxation of muscles. It’s relative.
How relaxed you are is a relative matter; perhaps there’s an ultimate, but it’s always in comparison to either how you were before, or to how someone else is. How is ‘relax’ defined? The state of body and mind being free from tension and anx
When you sit down on to a chair, you automatically, and without forcing it, do a pelvic tilt. If you don’t, you run the slight risk of hurting your spine.
The same thing should be true in tai chi and qigong when you move your weight from the front leg to the rear leg of a Bow stance; you need to do a pelvic tilt (see previous blog). Forcing it.
Without repeating the previous blog, I’ve noticed that quite a few people force the pelvis under Stretching or rel
When seeing Tai Chi or Qigong for the first time, it appears that all those graceful movements are the result of moving our limbs into the ‘correct’ position. So in order to learn those arts, we attempt to emulate the movements as precisely as possible. The art of precision.
I know this because I spent many years being an exponent of this way of learning as precisely as possible: Once upon a time… Approaching the matter.
About 8 years ago, I had a stude
If you are unsure where it is, it’s the same muscle you use when trying to stop urination in mid-flow, as well as the one that women practise using both pre- and then postnatally to help the recovery of the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor’s function.
It’s function is to hold the bowel, digestive, and reproductive organs in position (intestines, womb, uterus, bladder). Without it, gravity would allow those organs to drop between the thighs. It’s the bottom of t
Behaving like a boat.
Your body has a keel and a mast. The question is, how do you experience it? The hull & keel. CONTACTS:
Phone: 07836-710281 or 020-8883 3308
_______________________________________________________________________________________________ #qigong #grounding #tension #jamesdrewe #taiji #gravity #balance #taijiquan #pelvis #posture #taichi #relaxation #relax #sinking
One of the aspects of both yoga and qigong is to enhance your potential. If we always move in ways in which we are ‘comfortable’, certain parts of us remain static whilst other parts of us elasticate and ‘grow’, or at least remain more fluid.
Perhaps that’s a bit like only oiling the engine on the car but not bothering to grease the bearings? If the engine works too well, it might be at the expense of the bearings which can’t take the strain.
Enhancing your potential appl
Crown of head (not to be confused with the hair whorl) Perineum (muscle between genitals & anus) Point directly on the line between your 2 feet (variable if moving your weight back/forward between the feet). The Spinal Line (when pushing an object/person). To continue the water analogy, it’s the pressure of the water behind your tap that causes the flow, not the water itself. So, for example, when shifting a piece of heavy furniture, if you overuse the arms, you can strain t
A brief ‘whinge’. The ‘Quiet Place’.
When doing Tai Chi or Qigong, I can return to myself; it’s like finding the quiet place, where the outside world ceases its demands, and the focus turns inward. Your own solar system. Cut down on your cortisol.
Both Tai Chi and Qigong help the lymphatic system function more efficiently; they quite literally ‘pump’ it.
The lymphatic tissue both transports nutrients through the body, and helps to wash the rubbish out; in the same way that
Is Tai Chi just a sequence of movements?
In a previous blog, I mentioned something that had happened many years ago in a class:
I had a student who, through my own inexperience of teaching, learnt the Yang Long Form in 2 terms, and when we’d reached the end and I suggested that we look at it in more detail, he said, “Thanks, but I don’t really need to; I now know tai chi”.
Of course, he didn’t know tai chi; at best he had memorised a sequence of arm and leg movements. Perfo
Following the previous blog, a question was posted about it: “… How does Song relate to the other thing which is said regularly, that there should be ‘Peng’ in every movement? I take that to mean that Peng should be present particularly at the conclusion of every movement, and not as tension but perhaps as extension?“ Peng is possible because, although you soften the white muscle tissue (the bulk of the muscle), you don’t exactly relax the fascia, or connective tissue, you ex
“An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. According to The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, balance problems rely on four body systems working together: 1) musculoskeletal (muscle strength, flexibility), 2) sensory (eyes, pressure sensors in the skin, muscles, and joints, and the vestibular system in the inner ear), 3) neuromuscular (muscle groups functioning cohesively), and 4) cognitive (fear of e.g. falli
Your neck controls your future comfort.
It’s never too late to do something about your posture, although it’s probably true to say that the earlier you start, the more comfortable your later years will be. The ‘Seesaw Law’.
In some respects, your spine works like a seesaw; if you do something to one end, there will be a reaction not only at the other end, but across the entire length of the seesaw. In other words, if you position your neck incorrectly on your body, you are
How is it at the moment? Where does your neck begin and end?
Anatomically your neck is 7 vertebrae long, starting at the skull (under and up inside), and finishing at the slightly more protrusive vertebra C7 (the 7th cervical vertebra) which is at the base of the neck, above shoulder line height. To be honest, I’m not actually very interested in its anatomical length, I’m much more interested in its functional length.
Functionally it finishes around about T3 (i.e. the 3rd t
It’s a feeling, you can’t actually do it.
In fact it’s the act of not-doing… definitely a verbal contradiction. It’s a feeling, and, like all feelings, is only possible to explain by comparison or with a simile (try explaining what an orange tastes like) whilst hoping that the person, to whom you’re attempting to explain the feeling, has had experiences that are similar to your own. In other words, it’s nigh on impossible. What does it feel like? Sediment; it’s like the sed
The smallest movement is the strongest. Needless to say (perhaps), the hub is your centre, (your dantien, your core), the spokes are your limbs. When you move your body, this is the part of you that you should feel moving first. As a beginner it’s all too easy to get distracted by what your arms and legs are doing, but actually it’s much easier to do tai chi if you make the centre direct and control all of your movements. How do you become aware of this?
1) Stand with your