Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How Do Tai Chi and Yoga Differ?

There are many different kinds of exercise and mind-body disciplines, tai chi and yoga are among the most popular. Both help limber up the body, focus the mind and body as one, improve body awareness, and lower stress. So how do they differ? Yoga's focus is on the internal life and health of a person, and in some traditions, on moral and spiritual teachings.
Tai chi does this too, but in contrast, excells at teaching you good alignment, breathing, relaxation, and movement, as well as application of movement. So, no matter if you're practicing tai chi as a meditative discipline or as a martial art, there's always a sense of how tai chi ideas (such as good alignment or balance) can be used in daily life both internally in one's own self, and externally, in interacting with other people and with tools and objects. Tai chi principles can be used equally in opening a window, for example, digging in the garden, or participating in a meeting at work, and so on.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Taiji Takes on Battling the Flu

Here's yet one more way taiji can help your health: it can increase the efficacy of your flu shot. In an article in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, well-known taiji teacher and researcher Yang Yang found that five months of an easy taiji and qigong routine could "improve the magnitude and duration of the HI anti-influenza antibody titer response in a small cohort of older adults.” Yang will discuss his results at a conference in September at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Yang and Great River director Barbara Davis have both been presenters together at A Taste of China and the International Forum on Taijiquan. Click here for the entire news release.