Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Current New Classes

A new Adult Tai Chi class begins Jan. 8 Tuesday 8pm at Sunset Recreation Center Lawton at 29th, registration is through SFreconline.org
The new session of Qigong for Seniors begins Jan 9 at the Bernal Heights Rec Center 500 Moultrie off Cortland Ave. 1pm-3.  55 and over, free. For questions contact Livingtaichi@yahoo.com. 415-773-8185

Thursday, January 8, 2009

T'ai Chi instructor profile

UPDATED ON 9/21/10 I am currently teaching through the Rec and Parks dept. of San Francisco at Glen Park. Adult Tai Chi and Qigong for Seniors. See Sfrecpark.org. I was on the staff of the Healing Center of San Francisco for about ten years starting in 1982. This is a Holistic education center run by Jocelyne Nielsen and is a post secondary school that gives c.e. credits. It was started to help registered nurses learn techniques of alternative healing and Chinese medicine theory and accupressure. Here I taught T'ai Chi classes and Qigong exercises. I also taught at Third Wave Dance studio in 1983-4 which was located at 24th and Mission for a short while. I taught small groups in my home in the Mission from 1983-87 as well as at Douglass Park in upper Noe Valley. I began teaching at the Noe Valley Ministry 1021 Sanchez (415-282-2317) in the mid eighties and continue to this day as part of its Community Center Service function. I have also taught classes at corporations including Colossal Pictures and Synopsis. I taught for a brief time in the early corporate fitness program of Levi Strauss in the early eighties. I have taught a grant funded free class in the Tenderloin's Boedekker Park.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Living T'ai Chi Principles in Everyday Life

Living T'ai Chi Principles in Everyday Life
By Chris Sequeira

The word T'ai Chi also (Taiji) implies the interaction of opposing qualities, referred to as Yin/Yang, such as light and dark, positive and negative, male and female, fast and slow, etc. without which life would not be possible. Many people associate the word T'ai Chi with T'ai Chi Chuan, which is a martial art that strives to apply the appropriate use of opposing forces to achieve harmony while dealing with an opponent. When practiced for health purposes, it is an attempt to balance the forces within the body and in its movements. It is a perfect blend of relaxation and exercise.
However, the T'ai Chi philosophy has even broader applications that can be useful in everyday life apart from martial arts and formal exercise routines. To live T'ai Chi is to be in a continuous awareness of all the elements of your life, both inner and outer, as they present themselves, and to stay balanced and harmonious to the best of your ability.
How we stand and breathe has a considerable impact on our total well-being. I would like to share some simple but profound principles that can be applied in everyday life. These are suggestions and ideas based on my experience with Chinese meditation, healing traditions, and Taoist philosophy. My purpose is not to foster more beliefs and concepts but to invite people to investigate for themselves and come to their own direct experience and knowledge. I am aware that more details and subtleties exist and cannot be fully addressed in an article of this size. The following is a guideline for what is known as the Wu Chi standing meditation posture. The bodily alignments discussed are the basis of T'ai Chi Chuan posture. It represents the starting point from which the exercise routine begins. It is recommended to begin with shorter sessions and to increase the duration over time. If standing is not possible, you can sit comfortably straight with the palms resting above the knees, applying the principles accordingly.
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and pointing forward. Center your weight behind the balls of your feet and in front of your heels. With your knees slightly bent allow your hips to settle as you let go of any tension you may be holding in the small of your back. This will aid in letting your pelvis tuck gently forward as if you are sitting on a stool. Do not force the posture but maintain a sense of ease. Let your shoulders and arms hang loosely with your middle fingers touching the sides of your thighs. Gently raise the top of your head, being careful to keep your chin pulled gently inward. Touch the tip of your tongue to your upper palate. Maintain a sense of softness within this shape, avoiding rigidity. Your eyes may be closed or gently opened and slightly angled downward.
Bringing your awareness to your breath, allow your belly to expand naturally as you inhale through your nose. Release any tension in your chest and solar plexus. Witness your body as it seems to breathe itself. As you exhale, sense a wave of release from the top of your head down towards the earth. Feel the mass of your body sinking downward with each breath like sand in an hourglass, giving you the impression that your legs and feet are the heaviest part of your body. Let your mind and emotions quiet down as your weight surrenders to gravity. Allow your breath to gradually become slower and longer. Allow any disturbing qualities, whether they are emotional, mental or physical, to drift downward like a muddy pool gradually becoming clear. As your body is becoming more relaxed, sense new energy gathering with each inhalation. In calm attention, you feel the vitality buzzing in every cell of your body. Sense the pure awareness and presence in which all your life experiences are known. Thinking is not a problem as you settle into that which is conscious of thought and therefore unbound by it. Here you recognize the silent knowingness that you have always been. Yet in its depths you may discover a sense of wonder, mystery and peaceful joy. Here is your link to Wu Chi, which can be defined as the unmanifest open field of all possibilities from which T'ai Chi, as the dynamic play of existence, is continually arising. In this core of fundamental human consciousness you are poised in what is called the Heart of Heaven and Earth. When you are in Wu Chi awareness, which is only in the Now, you are at a fresh beginning of your unfolding life story, the true point of power. Herein lie the roots of intelligence, creativity, feeling sensitivity, deep appreciation and trust in life as it is. Here is the potential for effective action and for a movement toward holistic wellness.

The standing, or Wu Chi meditation posture has physically therapeutic and healing functions and can be applied anytime, anywhere, whether waiting in line or watching a sunset. A brief session can be quite effective, but a longer one can provide more depth. But knowing, resting in and living from your fundamental awareness and being, deeper than anything that is subject to change, can occur regardless of posture, activity, or inactivity.
I have been conducting classes in T'ai Chi basics, forms, meditation and Qigong in the Mission, Noe Valley and Diamond Heights neighborhoods since the early 1980's. Feel free to contact me with your questions and if you would like to participate in our meetings at 415-773-8185 or at Livingtaichi@yahoo.com. , www.livingtaichisf.com

More ways to work with the Wu Chi (Wuji) posture

As you have been bathing in the stillness and presence, you may calmly sense, as you exhale, your intention and awareness sinking down towards the earth center, deep and expansive.
As you inhale, draw up your sense of earth energy into and through the soles of your feet and throughout your body, extending it through the midpoint of the top of your head as your awareness and intent expands upwards to fill your sense of the sky and cosmos.
Exhaling, feel the energy of the heavens funnel back down through the crown of your head, filling your body before it extends back to the earth center.
Sense both energies mixing and balancing your total being.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Here we stand as we are

We are in a continuous state of arriving, landing in this very movement of change. Discovering ourselves as the totality of all we can perceive moment by moment is how we truly embody.