About Tai Chi Yoga:
NOVEMBER 2018 BLOG: MY 45 YEAR ANNIVERSARY: "Forty five years ago I began my daily practice of yoga. Two years later I added to it tai chi. Then I blended the two together into a single disciplne, which is still unique today. What a blessing tai chi yoga has been these 45 years. Each morning since then I have started my day with its uplifting, soothing movements, synchronized breathing, and gentle relaxation. Each night since I have wound down the same way. This year I celebrate those 45 years - how tai chi yoga is an integral part of my life, how it eases pain, comforts sorrows, and reenergizes an aging body - even after recovering from 3 major surgeries in the past four years. May it do the same for you ."
ABOUT TAI CHI YOGA: I am blessed to have peace of mind, flexibility, memory, energy, and balance. At 6' 3" I am still fairly thin. My hair is still naturally brown - except for a few strands of silver that have started to appear at the temples. Even though I am 70, most of my friends say I look like I am in my forties. And I feel younger than that. Why? Tai Chi Yoga.
When I do Tai Chi Yoga, I feel like I do while taking a shower. I feel myself unwinding and floating at the same time. I feel clearer in thought and wiser in mind. I sense more from the inside instead of the outside. I feel closer to others, nature, and God. It is the best part of my day.
What Tai Chi Yoga Is:
Tai Chi Yoga is a healing and meditative art form that I innovated in 1977 by blending tai chi and hatha yoga. Tai Chi Yoga is about doing; not achieving. No matter our age, size, or shape, we derive healing benefits by performing to our own level of flexibility and enjoyment; not by trying to push beyond what is comfortable for our body.
Tai chi is an ancient form of martial arts - considered the most passive of the martial arts. Its prevailing philosophy is "yield and overcome". Tai chi has its origins in China. Today it is the most widely practiced exercise form in the world. Tai chi is a series of circular, bent-knee, one-legged balancing movements done in rhythm with one's stomach breathing. It resembles ballet in slow-motion. Tai chi is also considered the physical practice of Taoism, an ancient Chinese spiritual philosophy.
Hatha yoga is an ancient form of gentle stretching combined with deep breathing and reflective relaxation. Its slow movements consist of forward stretches, backward stretches, spinal twists, balances, and inverted positions. One's stomach breathing initiates movement into and out of a stretch. Yoga has its origins in India.
Proper stomach breathing is essential to Tai Chi Yoga as well as everyday life. For example when we watch a baby breath, its stomach naturally inflates outward when inhaling and deflates inward when exhaling - like a balloon being filled and emptied of air. The absence of proper stomach breathing while performing Tai Chi Yoga greatly diminishes its benefits. The absence of proper stomach breathing in everyday life contributes to shallow upper chest breathing which deprives the body of sufficient life-giving oxygen it needs to fight aging.
How Tai Chi and Yoga are Blended:
My Tai Chi Yoga routines are structured accordingly: (1) a seated breathing exercise; (2) standing yoga movements; (3) tai chi movements; (4) reclining relaxation; (5) seated and reclining yoga movements; and (6) reclining relaxation and/or kneeling meditation. I have found that the blending of tai chi and yoga into a single art form creates more profound benefits to the body, mind, and spirit than the practice of either discipline alone. It is like 1 + 1 = 3.
You can see examples of my Tai Chi Yoga by clicking on the "John's YouTube Videos" link on the home page.
How Tai Chi Yoga Benefits Us:
The benefits of Tai Chi Yoga are infinite. It affects the body, mind, and spirit like water nurturing a flower bud. It produces a glow that comes from the inside; a smile that starts from the heart. Its daily practice improves concentration and memory. It prolongs youthful suppleness and condition. It restores grace of movement and balance. It generates energy within us. It enhances our inner awareness. It helps us feel our own spirit. And by sensing our own spirit, we can then sense Heaven's Spirit within us.
Henry David Thoreau once said, "Heaven is beneath our feet as well as above our head". As we progress with Tai Chi Yoga, we come to feel the Spirit flowing within our body. And when we have received the gift of the Holy Ghost, the daily practice of Tai Chi Yoga enables us to more profoundly feel that presence in our heart and soul.
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