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

Fall Hiking Schedule

 

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

 

Springboard April 7, 2010

I pray that everyone is enjoying the transition of the seasons.  I can’t remember my first conscious experience of spring blossoming. What I do remember is being fascinated by how one day the landscape is grey, brown and black.  Soon the rains move in and bring their luggage. They cast  a darkness over the land (da duuuum).  Suddenly, the sun reappears,  high in the sky. This is when the magic happens.  Everywhere is growth, color and fragrance.  The very air is filled with the sound of activity.  Heads that were covered and faces towards the ground (and away from the wind) are revealed. Community returns above ground. I can’t help it.  Every single time, it blows me away. It all happens minus computers, management, paper work, etc.  It’s so elegant and efficient.

When spring reveals itself, I actually feel the same way I do upon awakening in the morning.  Not sure where I’ve been, but I’m very familiar with what’s ahead of me. We use morning water to cleanse and purify the  images, thoughts, memories and judgements we may encounter in the uncensored night.  Morning is when we release and consume water,  salt and fresh.  The water is refreshing, cleansing and connecting. Spring brings the rains.  She splashes water on our heads, gently coaxing the thirsty soul back into this world .

Springs energy is also explosive.  It takes over a previously dormant space and fills it with life, activity, community and beauty. It transforms the landscape so drastically, in such a short time, that it can SHOCK the consciousness into bearing witness to it’s presence.  Spring doesn’t creep up on you.  She explodes into your awareness like plant spirit medicine shamans.  She whirls on one leg sending the wind spinning from the hem of her skirt. The sweat from her head showers sweet water when it shakes like calabash and shekere.  If you allow her to teach you her whirling dance, you can ride the hem of her skirt to the success of your aims.

Our annual wake up call visits us this season. Let’s ride in the direction of the wind. Let’s spend a few days weeding and seeding our psycho-social gardens. Lets’ reach out, touch, expand our family/networks.  Let’s get working on our new projects or new phases of old projects. Let’s Spring Ahead.

Let’s be Rainmakers, Garden Keepers and Truth Sayers again.

muchpeace,
Kazi

Rise and Shine Your Light Divine

http://mybodytemple.net
http://mybodyfitbootcamp.com
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Will I Am – That I Am March 10, 2010

My taste buds are in an uproar.  They are usually the chief protagonist during a fast.  At least for me.  My taste buds are mad bored right now.  They yearn for something tasty.  Anything really.  Salty, Spicy, Bitter, Sour of Sweet.  Just one stimulating jolt of oral bliss could send me to heaven.  And set me back 2 days.

Fasting has a way of revealing things about you.  Things you may or may not have already known.  One things for sure, you will witness a battle of will vs temptations in the first few days.  But it’s not your belly that’s rebelling, it’s the mind.  The part of your mind that is dedicated to ensuring your survival as a egg/sperm carrying member of the species will prop up every argument against and alternative to not eating.  Especially when it knows good and well that food is readily available.  This too shall pass.  Literally.  Just say no and have a sip of the universal solvent.

Fasting has been promoted as a way of detoxifying the body.  Not sure I would put alot of weight behind that.  What I do know is that it has a way of stilling the mind chatter (after the initial battle), and body tension.  Successful fasting also strengthens your will.  If you can resist the natural inclination to eat when hungry, you can resist most temptations that will enter your life.  This alone is a good reason to make fasting an integral part of your sacred lifestyle.  The part of our brains that will try to sabotage the fast means well.   It is concerned with maintaining the bottom line – survival.  But our ability to tame this part of our nature is what separates us from our animal cousins.  It’s our ability to choose that evolves our humanity.

I hear so much these days about teaching people, especially young people about making the right choices.  But I’m not convinced that we teach people how to build up their choice muscles.  Every box of cigarettes has a warning lable on it’s side that tells us that smoking is hazardous to our health.  Yet, we still have millions of smokers in America and worldwide.  Addiction is the absence of choice.  And addiction is the number one disease in the modern world.  Addiction to substances, the past, comfort, ideas, people, cultures and the hardest one to kick- addiction to who we think we are.  Fasting is preventive and healing medicine for addictions.

Tomorrow I anticipate the experience of physical weakness and frailty.  This is part and parcel of the journey.  The weakness although physical has a profound impact upon the psyche.  When you feel weak, your aggressiveness is automatically diminished.  It’s as if there is a voice in the back of your head saying: “Hey, I don’t want no trouble.”  It makes me very humble.  Humble but not fearful.  It’s like becoming water.  You lose interest in resisting.  When the world pushes, you just roll with the pushes until it wears itself out.  Then extend a hand of assistance to get the world spinning again.   If you really want to walk in master teachers footsteps, try a 40 day fast.  I assure you, you will become a master cheek turner 🙂

 

stay tuned for some “ain’t necessarily so” pearls of wisdom March 6, 2010

At 50 years of age I am seeking, experimenting with and embracing ways to use emerging wisdom to balance waning strength.  Juggling with ideas sacred, profane, fun and sometimes frightening. Playing the role of child, brother, father, friend, neighbor, coach, educator, activist, researcher, therapist, wilderness guide, entrepreneur and wanna-be blogger. This blog will serve as a place for me to share thoughts, experiences, experiments, results, questions, stories, encounters, insights, conflicts, confusion, obstacles, progress, plans, images of  the unknown.  About Life, Wisdom, Health and Wealth.  Enjoy the ride.

The blog is a work in progress.  Learning by doing.  Suggestions are welcome.  Comments are encouraged.  Criticism is accepted , though painful. Don’t hesitate to spread the word.