Tensegrity Revisited

Check out this video by Thomas Myers, author of Anatomy Trains. It is a lively explanation of how the connective tissue system uses the principle of tensegrity to greatly enhance its effective power as well as its reliance. Myers is an authority on the myofascial network and his explanations are clear and colorful. In Chapter 14 “Tensegrity” of Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate, I discuss the importance of this principle: Chinese martial arts and Chinese healing arts have long emphasized the importance of the connective tissue system in the conduction of internal energy. The Western model has primarily focused on… Read More

Interview with Creative Consciousness Radio and Overtone Singing in CT

Two things happened last week that I’d like to share: Interview on Creative Consciousness Radio with Sam and Cabrini Greco, and overtone chanting at a poetry reading at the “Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry!” in New London, CT. First the interview. I was contacted by Sam and Cabrini to go on their web-based program and we did it live last Tuesday (Bastille Day! “Liberte. Eagalite. Fraternite.”) It was an honor as well as a real joy. Sam and Cabrini are on a mission to give voice to those on a spiritual path who are working to make a difference in people’s… Read More

Song Kua: Clarification

I devoted a chapter to the kua in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate and it’s time to clarify what is meant by song kua. (pronounced soong) I recently posted the steps to take to get more from your kua and I’d like to sharpen the focus a little here. For years, I have been telling students to “release” the kua in preparation for any movement. And that is still true. But don’t stop there. “Releasing” gets you out of the habitual hip tension that prevails in our culture. (I blame it on the flush toilet. In China, where you squat… Read More

Three Things We Learned in Class

1. It’s Winter! (At least for those of us north of the Equator.) Yup! January here. And that means we’re in the most yin part of the year. This is the time to lay the foundation for the rest of the year by cultivating the Water Element. Kidney qi. Restore your pre-natal qi. That means your qigong is really, really slow and quiet. Here’s a Water Meditation from Fukui Yang (courtesy of Rabbi Andrew Hahn) that demonstrates the ultra-soft attitude of the season.   You can still hit the gym in winter. Or ski. Or chop wood. External (muscular) exercise… Read More

The Paradox of Wardoff

Through experience of the touch one can gradually comprehend and understand jin. Through understanding jin one can reach divine-like clarity. Wang Zongyue, Taijiquan Lun The “Wardoff” posture in taijiquan is an expression of peng jin, an expanding (yang) “up and out” type of internal power. Like all jins, peng is dependent on a whole-body energetic connection. Energetic coherence. Without that, your Wardoff will suck. In Wardoff With Left Arm, the substantial arm (left) is curved in front of the chest to create space. This is a really weak muscular connection. Try it. Have someone push on your forearm, starting slow… Read More