Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 403

Calm and Relax

I have been a student of Tai Chi Chuan for 55 years and an instructor for 50. One of the most important ideas to keep in mind is that there is a lesson in everything we do if we just take the time to look. Tai Chi is a complete study of how the human body interacts with others, as well as the inner and outer environment.

When we play Tai Chi in the Park, we have players of all levels, from “this is my very first class” to other instructors. What they all have in common is the desire to learn and refine this beautiful “meditation in motion” movement and share this experience with others.

I introduced this Qigong Breathing exercise last week to the newcomers who have recently joined us in the Park. It is one of my favorites, and so simple yet very effective. It is something that can be practiced any time, any place, either lying down, sitting, or standing. There was a period of time when I used to fly a lot and this breathing method calmed me right down. I call it Calm and Relax. Let me share it with you.

At the Park, we use a simple, comfortable, natural stance. I suggest you close your eyes – you don’t have to, but it is easy to get distracted by all the wonders at the Park. Breathing is in through the nose, with the breath directed to the lower belly, and out from the lower belly, through either the nose or mouth.

As you breathe in, (belly expands). Think to yourself “Calm”. When you breathe out, (belly contracts). Think to yourself “Relax”. That’s it! So easy, and I guarantee results. No time restrictions. Just do it for as long as it feels right. It is especially effective after you have finished your form. Just return to stand naturally, and do the Calm and Relax Breathing and you’ll be amazed at how you feel. Good luck.