Movement is life.
Our physical body is in a state of constant motion- even when we are in our deepest sleep. The lungs breathe, the heart beats, the guts digest, the brain sends electrical and chemical messages throughout the body, cells in every organ take in energy, metabolize it and produce waste to be filtered out. The mind remains in motion as it experiences a dream state. Regardless of our state of consciousness, we move to experience life. We learn from our experiences.
When we are young we experience our world in a state of constant motion. We run everywhere in our eagerness to explore life! We crawl over boulders and chase lizards, lay on our bellies and watch grasshoppers hop and hang upside down on the monkey-bars. We try cartwheels, back somersaults and handstands- “just because.” Sometimes we walk backwards, we close our eyes, we spin until we fall. We are even “wiggle worms” at the dinner table. Yoga refers to childhood as the stage of Kapha ( Earth and Water Elements).
As we “grow up”, we progressively constrain our scope of movement. We SIT! Confined to ill-fitting dsks to receive our basic education. No more recess. Driving. After school jobs to pay for gas. Athletics? …for some. Computers; Television. I-pods, video games; movie theaters. We begin our career paths. Yoga refers to this stage as our transition from adolescence into adulthood as the movement from the Kapha life stage into a Pitta life stage.
Middle-age heralds the arrival of multi-tasking extraordinaire status; usually far more work than play. We have arrived fully in Pita (Fire & Water Element). Depending on our choices, our fire will either burn bright and strong to sustain us , or will burn hot and wild, consuming our resources. Work, parenting, taking care of aging parents can lead to an overwhelming perception of less time for self. Exercise…one of these days we will have the time to “get back in shape”. Did you know the average American spends 3 hours a day in front of the TV. Have you considered that you literally “digest” everything your senses experience in a day?
Retirement. If we have not burned up in our Fire, we have arrived at the life season of Vata ( Air and Space Elements). The conditioning of our culture says this is time to slow down-or even to stop; the worst possible advice for aging with vitality! Our world can narrow or expand; again depending on our choices. As Air and Space elements prevail and our bones will tend to become less dense, our muscles tend to loose mass, we get more digestive gas, we feel a compromise in our balance and we may be drawn into living in a state of reflections on the past. Did you know that you can create a biological age that is many years younger than your chronological age?
When is the last time you even thought about trying a cartwheel or running like the wind? How about turning off the TV, turning on some music and dancing with abandon? Our bodies are living tissues that adapt to the stresses (movement experiences) we place upon them. Is it any wonder then that our bodies can gradually take on the shape of chairs as we age without a sufficient variety of movement? Consider trying a class at Body Language Studio that will challenge you to have a new movement experience. Discover your potential!
Movement is life! Keep your Health In Motion. Begin Now.
More about Tai Chi …
So what is “Chi”?
Chi is a word usually translated as intrinsic or “vital” energy. It is the same energy that is the basis of the ancient science of acupuncture. It is considered the basic “life force” of the individual. T’ai Chi Chuan is concerned with the development and control of this energy that is the basis of the many healthful effects resulting from its practice. Although there is no question about the decrease in cardiovascular stress and increase in effective oxygen uptake in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan by anyone with a reasonable degree of patience and attention, that level of accomplishment is in fact one of the many benefits of serious intense practice, which include, but are not limited to the following:
• Greater physical power
• Greater physical endurance
• Tones and strengthens the heart
• Greater control of emotional expression
• Less need for sleep accompanied by deeper and more restful sleep
• Promotes deep breathing and develops the lungs
• Helps to lower blood pressure
• Less need for food intake and less desire to eat
• Less intensity of emotional requirements