Wealthy Health-Wise

keeping it small & simple

10 Reasons Why You Should be Practicing Tai Chi September 22, 2011

Filed under: Medicine — Kazi @ 11:54 pm
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Their doing it in the park
their doing it after dark
Tai Chi, Oh yeah

OK, so I got a little creative with the songs’ original lyrics. But you must admit, Tai Chi fits nicely into the Rock Creek Park chorus.

Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art. One of the many exercise forms that fall under the greater umbrella of what the Chinese call Chi Kung (or Qi Gong). These exercises are not reserved for the martial arts community. Tai Chi is practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, strong and frail, athletes and scholars. Everyone can benefit by adding a regular Tai Chi practice to their self-healing regimen.

Here are 10+ Reasons Why You Should be practicing Tai Chi.

1. Tai Chi is Safe, efficient and effective (SEE) – i have yet to hear of anyone being injured by participating in Tai Chi practice. The movements are slow and grounded. There is no dangerous equipment involved.

2. Efficient practicing Tai Chi for 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous positive effect upon your health, strength and flexibility. You get a substantial return on your energy/time investment.

3. Effective- unlike many of the new fad exercises and equipment popping up every other day on our televisions and internet, Tai Chi has been around for over a thousand years. First, only being handed down within Chinese family lineages. Tai Chi’s effectiveness as a health tonic has led to its spread throughout the known world. Many progressive health centers like the Mayo Clinic recommend Tai Chi to their patients and in many cases have an instructor on staff.

4. Tai Chi fosters stress resilience. In addition to the myo-facial workout, Tai Chi’s mental focus and breathing techniques teach you how to recognize and reduce stress within the mind-body continuum.

5. You can practice alone or in a group. Are you the solitary type? Do you like to really focus during your exercise? Or does a group atmosphere motivate you and allow you to meet new, like-minded friends? Well, either way you can find Tai Chi instruction that fits your preferences.

6. No additional equipment necessary. All you need it your able body, desire and an instructor. There are more advanced forms of Tai Chi that uses a sword as a practice weapon. But it will be some time before you are ready to tackle this level, if you choose.

7. Gets you outdoors. Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere, but you get the most benefit practicing in the outdoors. preferably in a natural setting. The fresh air (deep breathing is a crucial part of Tai Chi), the sunlight  (many Americans are significantly Vitamin D deficient) and the sounds of nature, add unparalleled healing elements to your Tai Chi practice.

8. Cost effective. Tai Chi is a choreographed movement. And so the key to learning it is practice, practice, practice. You can progress just fine attending 1 sessions per week. The rest of your practice is done on your own or with other classmates, in between sessions with your instructor.

9. Tai Chi practice creates body awareness. Practicing Tai Chi teaches you how to listen to your body. You will begin to notice how your body reacts to your movement and develop a greater awareness of your energy level through the day. The little changes in body function that would have previously gone unnoticed, will become more apparent. This is extremely helpful for western men, who have been raised to ignore pain and use our bodies to the edge of abuse, before seeking out the assistance of a healing professional.

10. No special fitness apparel required. As long as your regular clothing is not tight and allows you to move freely (you need to take some big steps, raise you arms high, pivot and twist at the hip), you will have no problem practicing on your lunch break and returning to you desk without a shower and change of cloths.

A more significant motivator should be how Tai Chi practice can benefit your health. Researchers have found that intensive Tai Chi practice shows some favorable effects on:

  • the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness
  • has shown to reduce the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia,.
  • Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.
  • reduced levels of LDL’s 20–26 milligrams when practiced for 12–14 weeks.
  • compared to regular stretching showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • A pilot study has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.
  • In a randomized trial of 66 patients with fibromyalgia, the tai chi intervention group did significantly better in terms of pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education.
  • A systematic review funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health.”

Now that you know what you’re missing:

Join The Medicine Movement – Fall Tai Chi Schedule

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Entrepreneurship as Path To Self Healing May 6, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 2:53 pm
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These days, many of us work from our homes. Some are full timers, burning the morning, mid-day and mid-night oil, slumped over a keyboard and monitor trading their social and economic currency of attention, empathy, creativity and expertise in exchange for dollars.

A successful online business demands social marketing strategies that insist on developing genuine relationships with your target audience. No matter how many systems you put in place to automate this process, you still have to put in a significant amount of time and energy to be successful at it. I have yet to meet an internet entrepreneur with a “Four Hour Work Week.”

When running a business, in which your ability to attract and service clients is directly impacted by the time and energy you put in online, you had better have systems in place to ensure you get the personal outer and inner cultivation you need to remain healthy and on top of your game. Your attention, time, energy and creativity are all aspects of your Chi. Your Chi is your very life force. It is the very basis of your health, wealth and wisdom.  If you allow your chi to diminish, you allow your life to diminish.  Isn’t this why we left our jobs?

Here are some tips to help you maintain your life force as you build your internet empire:

  • Maintain office hours. You should have a specific time you clock in and clock out each day. Strange as it may seem, I accomplish more when I have deadlines and a full calendar. Create your own “sense of urgency”. When the whistle blows. Close the office and put it out of your mind.
  • Being your own boss means you can take an extended lunch. Once you become familiar with the rhythm of your particular business; schedule siesta hours that allow you to not just have lunch, but to pencil in prayer/meditation, sit down time with family or a friend, a walk in the park, short nap or whatever will give you a temporary respite from your “office mind” and reconnect you to your body-heart-soul complex.
  • Keep basic fitness equipment in your office. A good workout can be done in spurts.  Yesterday I did my workout while writing my blog. I got in three sets of Pull Ups – 10x, Overhead Triceps Press (20lb. dumbbells) 20x and Stability Ball Crunches 40x.  Each set took about 3-4 minutes max.
  • Being at home means you don’t have to be at the mercy of the menus of the institutional cafeteria, local restaurants and food stands. Stock you fridge and cupboards with healthy, simple to prepare foods that give you the physical and emotional nourishment you need to perform at your best.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Working from home should be more that being your own boss.  It can actually be the hub of your wellness lifestyle transformation strategy. Would love to hear ways you have turned working from home into an opportunity for wholistic healing for you and yours.

muchpeace,
Kazi


BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

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Sitting Bull April 20, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 9:22 pm
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A healthy lifestyle addresses all of the aspects of our lives that contribute to our ability to thrive physically,socially and psychologically. No stone should be left unturned. These three components of our lives are integrated.  They support each other, inform each other and work together as a unified whole that is the cornerstone of true health.

As you already know.  I am a stickler for efficiency when it comes to health and healing power tools (strategies, techniques). I am a believer in the acronym KISS: keep it small and simple.  So anytime I find a tool that is not only safe, effective and efficient, but addresses more than one of these crucial areas of our being at once. I incorporate it into my way of life. One essential power tool that I discovered over 30 years ago and have been committed to for over 20 years is the practice of meditation.

Meditation practice addresses the physical body through relieving stress and resetting the sub-conscious, life maintenance faculties of our being, in the way that you re-start your computer after a minor crash.

Meditation teaches us patience and to pause the constant ego chatter that prevents us from truly hearing and connecting beyond our own self interest, without becoming a slave to tribal, common senser standards of right and wrong.


Meditation also acquaints you with that part of your self that is quiet, non-judgmental and most important enduring.  The part that is always and forever in the here and now, which is all there is. Making this acquaintance is the key to mind health and to tapping the wealth of the psyche.

Here is another simple meditation practice you can begin today.

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet space.
  2. Sit erect, but not tense on the edge of your seat.
  3. Breathe deeply and slowly into your belly (your chest and shoulders should not rise and fall).
  4. Mentally scan your body from head to toe for areas of tension and release them.
  5. Now, begin counting backwards from 100. Counting one number for each inhalation and each exhalation.
  6. If at any point you lose count, return to 100. Do not become frustrated. Losing count is normal in the beginning. It too shall pass.
  7. When you arrive at 0, just sit quietly and listen. Just listen.
  8. After 5-10 minutes, very slowwwly open your eyes.
  9. When your focus fully returns to the outer world, slowly stand and end your practice.

Run this experiment for 28 days (four weeks) and keep a journal of your experience during the practice and of new things you notice in your physical, social and psychological life since beginning the practice.  Come back and share with us your findings.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating!
bro. jamal

muchpeace,
Kazi

PS. Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Thursday. 5 sessions remaining.
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kazi@mybdoytemple.net

 

On the 7th day he rested April 11, 2010

An integral factor in improving and maintaining health, wellness and fitness is often overlooked by the strong and the young. This factor is rest and rejuvenation. As members of a society that promotes the aggressive pursuit of goals, wealth and power, we have all been subliminally seduced into accepting the idea that work and play are both superior to rest.

We put the energetic, go getters on a pedestal of some inferred psycho-physical superiority that the rest of us should some how strive to match or at least concede our inferiority as mere mortals. Rest is viewed as a reward for our labor, not a major contributor to our health and happiness.

Fortunately, our lives are not completely in the hands of our belief systems and social pressures. Rest is something we cannot LIVE without. Sleep is an unavoidable, consequence of our daily energy expenditure and need for psychological and biological repair.

That part of our psyche that does not depend on outer, social, man made judgments to keep us alive, has no problem reducing our work output and shutting us down if necessary, when we don’t get proper rest. So let’s take heed to the guidance of our inner physician and make rest, recovery an integral part of our wellness regime.

Here are a few ways to ensure your getting the down time you need:

  • try to get to bed at approximately the same hour each night.
  • If you work from home, rise early and schedule a 15-20 minute siesta/cat nap into your day.
  • Take 3 minutes when transitioning from a completed task to begin a new one to just sit and release.
  • Schedule a vacation, staycation) or spiritual retreat into your annual calendar.
  • Hit the spa or schedule an appointment with a bodywork therapist at least once a month.
  • Get out of the city at least one weekend seasonally.
  • Include an healing art such as Yoga or Tai Chi as part of your exercise program.
  • Develop body awareness. Your body will let you know when it needs a break. This could help you avoid unnecessary down time.

muchpeaceluv,
Kazi

PS. Check out my upcoming Seated Massage Workshop

www.mybodytemple.net
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Compassionate Confrontation with Comfort April 10, 2010

In the past couple of weeks I have stepped up my own fitness routine to take advantage of the exuberant energy of the season and to prepare for the Spring/Summer season of BodyFit Boot Camp at Branch Brook Park in Newark. Over the years, when exercising at a challenging intensity I’ve become well acquainted with my minds borderline panic reaction to physical stress.

When we exercise our bodies at a level it has not been accustomed to, when we push or get pushed beyond our comfort zone, our mind sounds a crisis scale alarm before we even enter our personal Red Zone. The alarm takes on various tones. Rationalizations- logical, reasonable arguments that support the idea of letting up – “Take it down now and go hard on the next set.” Suddenly remembering something Important and slowing down to “….gather your thoughts.” Or, after the sensation of your lungs and muscles burning, get outright ignorant with some “what da fuk am I doin, this sht is crazy.” (Pardon my french)

On the flip side, exercising at athletic intensity requires a very monitored field of attention. You don’t have the luxury of allowing your thoughts to drift in whichever direction the wind is blowing. The successful (safe, efficient and effective) application of strength, balance, agility, speed, energy transformation and will; to complete a movement or series of movements is tied directly to ones’ ability to stay in the moment.

So a polarity is set up in the psyche, with the thoughts running in one direction and the attention affixed to another. Some may see this as a less than ideal situation. It is most ideal. It is the ideal opportunity for the sedentary man and women to practice an ancient and simple method of gaining physical and psychological strength, simultaneously. Here is a technique I have found useful. Put it to good use.

  1. In safe surroundings. While performing a movement/exercise you have mastered and can execute with proper form.
  2. Allow your attention to remain fixed on the observation of :
  • your movement in space and in your body
  • the breath entering and leaving your body (don’t try to control it)
    3. When your mind begins to make SUGGESTIONS to let up or stop:
  • scan your body for pain
  • if you find pain, observe it, along with your motion and breath
  • do not comment on the suggestions from the mind keep returning your attention to your movement, breath and body

This is the practice of compassionate confrontation with comfort. It yields strength, body awareness and stress resilience. So don’t just read this post and go back to the couch. These holistic benefits will carry over into every aspect of your life. I dear you to take these 5 simple points and see what a difference they will make in your daily wealth, health and wisdom.

Leave me a comment about your experiences with entering your physical discomfort zone.  I would love to hear it.

Kazi

Rise and Shine Your Light Divine

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Shaking Up The Parts to Make a Soluble Whole March 30, 2010

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — Kazi @ 4:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

The medicine movement arts have been an integral part of mans’ self-healing protocol since our first steps. Movement is essential to the holistic health of all living things. So much so, that we associate prolonged stillness with death. Although the body is the most apparent beneficiary of regular movement, whether recreational, medicinal or ritual; our mental and spiritual bodies also benefit from regular exercise.

In movement arts such as Yoga, Tai Chi and the various forms of ritual dance, movement is supported by measured breathing and guided by healing intention. The resultant dance elicits a bio-energetic tonic that strengthens the body, while stilling the mind and refueling the soul. Three for the price of one. These are truly holistic exercises.


The benefits of movement forms do not demand decades or even years of practice. The calming, vitalizing effects of these simple exercises can be witnessed the very first time they are practiced. We are in fact, genetically prescribed, hormonally prepared and neuro-chemically pre-disposed to reap the rewards of medicinal movement practice. Of course, the more you practice, the more benefits and mastery you accumulate. Some of the recognized benefits that has brought these arts into the mainstream include: improved cardiovascular health, stress reduction, blood pressure reduction, improved balance and coordination, improved mental clarity and creativity to name a few.

Medicine movement is the missing link in your self-healing arsenal. It is the catalyst of the dormant, unseen nutrients in your food, herbal, supplemental regimen. Movement medicine gently shakes up the medicine bottle of your body, mixing and reactivating the settled particles into a soluble, unified life elixir.  The movement arts are to the body temple, what construction workers are to a building project. The engineer and his workers follow the design of the architect to build a structure to the carry out a pre-defined purpose. The workers use all the tools at their disposal (breath, posture, gesture, attention, discipline, visualization, memory, etc.) to transform the building materials (nutrients, oxygen, blood, libido, neuron-transmitters, hormones, etc.) into a temple worthy of inhabitance by the divine.

RISE and SHINE your LIGHT DIVINE

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Meditation Practice for Virgins. March 24, 2010

I will not stack the deck with any explanations on what meditation is, does or what the benefits are.  This way we avoid the power of suggestion.  Just follow the directions below and share with us  your personal experience. Experience is The Best Teacher.

Meditation 101 for First Timers (Virgins).

Find a quiet space. Sit erect, yet relaxed. Feet flat on the floor. Hands resting on your lap.

Softly focus your eyes on the tip of your nose.

Inhale deeply into your abdomen. [when you inhale, only your tummy should expand. Not your chest. If necessary, place your hands on your tummy (navel area) until you feel your tummy expanding with each inhalation.]

Inhale slowly, but not so slow or deep that you find yourself straining. Maintain a relaxed effort.

Pay attention to the sensation of your expanding and contracting  tummy as you breath.  Keep your mind on the sensation you feel with each complete breath.

Periodically check your posture.  If you begin to slouch, gently resume your original erect/relaxed posture.

If your mind wanders (you start thinking about other things (job, lunch, telling your friends how you meditated), return your attention to feeling the sensation of breathing in your tummy.  This will definitely happen. Do not become frustrated.  Just keep bringing attention back until your time is up.

If your eyes become heavy and want to close allow them to close.

When done, open your eyes very slowly.  Then you can begin moving very slowly.

First timers practice for at least 5 minutes.
You can do this a few times a day. Most important, is to practice everyday at least once.

First timers, please post comments on your experience.

“The proof is in the pudding”