Austin’s WTCQD

August 12th, 2012

My absolutely fabulous Tai Chi teacher, Margie, appears in this video of Austin, TX’s World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 2012 Celebration. It is a very nice short film about people coming together and doing tai chi. It even goes into a little but about why people love and do tai chi. Enjoy.


A lovely Tai Chi Story

August 2nd, 2012
Bill Douglas, the Founder of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day, shared some of his thoughts on learning tai chi that I wanted to pass on to all of you. I think it is just so well put and inspiring. Enjoy.
When we first come to tai chi class, we often have a preconceived notion of what the teacher’s supposed to teach us or the class is supposed to be like. We may have seen someone doing some beautiful, graceful tai chi form or qigong form on the internet or TV, and we want to do what they did because it looks beautiful.
But, when we start the class and the teacher begins teaching us the breathing work, the meditation, the stances, the posture, etc. so that we can have the building blocks to build that beautiful form we saw … within ourselves we get anxious and urgent. In our minds we may be saying “This isn’t what I want, I want to get to the other stuff, the important stuff!”
When you go into that mode, you no longer hear, or enjoy anything the teacher is teaching you. You have brought the urgency of the world into the class with you. Take a breath, and let go. Let go of every one of your 50 trillion cells. Let your mind and heart ungrip and let go of their urgency.
There is no “perfect place” you will get to by hurrying up. What you are asking your teacher to do is to teach you astrophysics without first learning simple math. Its like you’re saying to the teacher, “Show me the astrophysics stuff, but skip the number and addition stuff. Just get right to the good stuff.”
I’m not pointing fingers at you, because I did this too, I dropped out of tai chi several times, and changed teachers, until finally realizing that my original teacher was great, and it was my own urgency that was causing me to feel unsettled, not her classes.
We live in an age of speed and short attention span entertainment. We give each show about 10 seconds of attention before flipping the channel, and we zoom from class to class, seminar to seminar, book to book, barely skimming the information before moving on.
Tai Chi and Qigong meditation are the opposite of that ‘constantly rushed’ way of life. When you begin it, it will often make you feel anxious to slow down at first, but when you hang in there, you look back a year or two later and are so glad you did.
Remember to breathe, and to let go of expectations.
I always tell my students to come to class for only 3 reasons:
1) To breathe
2) To loosen up
3) To play
Whatever goals you have for tai chi, improving balance, breathing, immune system, sports performance, well-being, whatever … just let go of that goal.
There is only one reason to do Tai Chi and Qigong … because it is FUN to do. It feels goooood to slow down, and to feel the pleasure sensations of the body breathing, loosening, and being massaged by effortless motion.
All the myriad benefits are just gravy. They will come … just let go of your grip on them … breathe … loosen … have some fun … and all the benefits will come.
I have classes where people come to have fun, and they keep coming, and their tai chi gets better, their sleep improves, their health improves, their sports performance improves … and then I have classes where new students come with the idea that I am going to “hurry up and get them to relax and fix all their problems in a one hour class.”  Guess what, they don’t get fixed in one hour, and they change the channel by rushing off to some other class thinking that will fix them in one hour.
When you go to class, let the teacher’s teaching wash over you like a form of entertainment. Lighten up on the class and the teacher, and on yourself. You’ll have fun, you’ll breathe, and you’ll loosen, and months from now you’ll look back and be so glad that you lightened up and had some fun as your life continues to expand and change in your tai chi and qigong journey.
- Bill Douglas

Fall in the NECC

July 23rd, 2012

Hello Tai Chiers! I have some great news. Our class has been approved to offer Tai Chi to NECC members for free! This means that starting when we move back inside in the fall (Oct.1- Dec. 31) NECC members will not have to pay extra. And, even better, the non-member price is going to stay the same! It will remain at $110.00 for the fall quarter. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to email or chat with me after class. Or you can email the community center directly.

Have a beautiful day!


Summer Session

June 22nd, 2012
The summer session will soon be upon us, so I want go over a few logistics. From July 1-Sept 30 we will be independent from the community center. Please do NOT sign up through the NECC. I would like class fees to be paid directly to me. You can choose to either pay monthly, or per class. If you think you will come regularly, you can pay $40 per month. If you aren’t sure how often you will come, you can pay $5 per class.
I am planning on moving indoors on October 1st, at which time we will go back under the NECC umbrella, so you can sign up for the fall session with them then.
Thats about it. I am looking forward to playing Tai Chi with everyone this summer!

Single Whip Comparison

February 1st, 2012

I came across a really fascinating photographic comparison of Single Whip postures. It is so interesting to see the differences and how the move has evolved and adapted.

Here are a few examples:

Yang Cheng Fu as a younger man
Tung Ying Chieh from his book
Tung Hu Ling from Tung Ying Chieh’s book

There are more at the original site:

Inspiration of the Day

August 1st, 2011

In a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.

– Henri Nouwen

SURVEY: Why do you do Tai Chi?

July 29th, 2011

The people at World Tai Chi and Qigong Day are taking a poll to find out the #1 reason for practicing Tai Chi. Please take a moment to answer; it is just one question!

What is the #1 Reason You Practice Tai Chi or Qigong?
World Tai Chi & Qigong Day

New Pricing for Tai Chi classes at Yoga Pilates NE

April 11th, 2011

Although there have been no changes to the Yoga Pilates NE website, there HAVE been changes to the way you can pay for Tai Chi classes! As of now:

The fee for the full 8-week beginner session is $140

ALSO: You can now drop-in whenever you want! The fee for drop-ins is $10 for members/$15 for non-members

Classes are still twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6-7pm.

Looking forward to seeing new faces in class!

P.S. – If there is a time that works better for you, please feel free to leave a comment and I can change the times for the next session!

Tai Chi Demos this March

March 6th, 2011

During the month of March, I will be doing free half-hour demo classes at the studio three times a week. They will be held on Tuesday & Thursdays at 6:30pm and on Saturdays at 11am. We will probably be doing some qi gong together and I will demonstrate parts of the form.

The next beginners session starts on April 1st, so come over and take advantage of some free classes before the next session begins!

Inspiration for the Day

February 25th, 2011
Your life is always working, whether you know it or not. Sometimes it works to bring you what you want, and sometimes it works to keep you from what you think you want.
– Neale Donald Walsch