Belly Breathing—Calm the Inner Monster

Belly breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, or abdominal breathing, is one of the best techniques for quickly reducing stress and anxiety as well as to calm the mind and settle your blood pressure down. Next time you are sitting in traffic, give some belly breathing a try. You will find yourself calmer and more peaceful in no time.

Concentrate on breathing in and out of your nose and allowing your belly and your lower back to expand and fill up as you inhale. Then, gently compress your abdomen and give a little extra push to encourage all of the air to leave through your nose. Belly breathing sends signals to your brain that help you relax and calm down. Plus, if you can keep this video in mind, you will also have a silly grin on your face!

According to the American Institute of Stress, “Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.” Read More

NPR News wrote a great article that states, “As it turns out, deep breathing is not only relaxing, it’s been scientifically proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes.” Included with the story is an audio recording of the article. I have included it below for your convenience:

There have been countless studies concluding that breathing techniques can positively effect the physiology of the human body. The study and practice of Tai Chi is one method to incorporate physical movement with slow, deep, long breaths—breathing through the nose, filling and contracting the abdomen. With practice, you will find that these techniques will become second nature and you can easily draw on them in stressful situations. As NPR mentions in their article, “The breath isn’t something Western medicine should blow off. It’s a powerful tool for influencing individual health and well-being. And the best part is all the ingredients are free and literally right under your nose.”

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Burn off Those Calories With Tai Chi


Tai Chi for Weight Loss?

Tai Chi for Weight Loss Calorie BurnWhen most people think about Tai Chi, they are not usually associating the practice with calorie burn. You may not realize just how many calories those slow, graceful movements will shed. It has been calculated that a 125-pound person burns approximately 240 calories in a one-hour session, while a 155-pound person burns approximately 300 and a 185-pound person burns roughly 356. With those numbers, that Tai Chi session is about the equivalent, in terms of calorie burning, as an hour-long walk done at 3.5 mph.

Above and Beyond Ordinary Exercise

While Tai Chi may not quite compare to the calorie-burn of a vigorous jog, or strenuous cycle, this ancient martial art improves your flexibility, coordination, endurance, stamina and strength in a way no other activity can. Plus, studies have shown that there is nothing better for conditioning the body for fall-prevention.

Tai Chi is Flexible

Not only does Tai Chi aid your flexibility, the practice itself is flexible. You can burn more or less calories just by changing the way you practice. Sink a little deeper, move a little slower, practice a little longer for more calorie-burn. Feeling too tired? Take it a bit easy. You may just find that after several minutes, you suddenly have more energy than when you started and you practice longer than you thought you would.

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Burke Tai Chi Class Will Meet 03-13-17

Just in case there is any question, we WILL be meeting for both Tai Chi Classes tonight at Ekoji in Burke.

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but Tai Chi is so delightful… 🙂

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Tai Chi Classes Section 2
Burke Fairfax Springfield VA Area
May 1 – Aug 7, 2017

Please note: Section Two registration has been closed as we have reached maximum class size. Please register for section one. Many thanks.

Tai Chi Classes — Continue to Improve Flexibility and Balance, Reduce Stress, Increase Energy Level, Tone and Strengthen Muscles

Tai Chi for stress reduction and fall prevention
Tai Chi 2 — Continue to de-stress, wind down, relax, become more flexible. Also increase your strength and balance! Deepen the health benefits and relaxation offered by the ancient art of Tai Chi! Read More »

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Tai Chi Classes Section 1
Burke Fairfax Springfield VA Area
Mon, May 1 – Aug 7, 2017

Tai Chi Classes — Improve Flexibility and Balance, Reduce Stress, Increase Energy Level, Tone and Strengthen Muscles

Tai Chi for stress reduction and fall prevention
Tai Chi — Come learn to de-stress, wind down, relax, become more flexible. Also increase your strength and balance! Discover the health benefits and relaxation offered by the ancient art of Tai Chi! Read More »

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World Tai Chi and Qigong Day Fairfax County, Vienna VA April 2017

Qigong at Meadowlark Gardens

2017 World Tai Chi and Qigong Day Fairfax County
At Meadowlark Botanical Gardens — Vienna, VA

FREE! Demonstrations, Mini-Classes, Healing Garden and More!
On the last Saturday of April each year at 10 am (local time), tens of thousands, in 100s of cities, spanning 80 nations, join together to celebrate World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. Come be a part of this global event. Read More »

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Tai Chi Research on Benefits for Seniors

Woman Practicing Tai ChiThe word is spreading about the benefits of Tai Chi for Senior health, and more and more research is becoming available regarding the subject. I was recently consulted for an article about Tai Chi and fall-prevention by the staff at Comfort Home Care, a family-owned business in Montgomery County, Maryland that provides nursing assistance in their clients’ homes and independent or assisted living facilities. Please read the full article Here. In the article they have sited numerous sources including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Unfortunately, falls among seniors are common, but steps can be taken to prevent them and reduce their likelihood. Learning and practicing Tai Chi is a recognized prevention activity. Many of my students tell me that they can feel the difference in their stability and balance as early as the third class.

Recently I received a very touching message—for which I am most grateful—from one of my new students. Michael writes:

“I hope that in your dark times you realize the positive effect you are having on so many people. As you watch us in class, with our spasm like moves and uncoordinated flailing of limbs, know that you are making a difference. I already feel better because of Tai Chi and I cannot imagine how much better I will feel in the weeks, months and years ahead as I get more flexible, coordinated, relaxed and aware of my body.”

Thank you Michael for your kind words and sharing your experience.

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Tai Chi Classes Section 1
Burke Fairfax Springfield VA Area
Mon, Jan 9-Apr 17, 2017

Tai Chi Classes — Improve Flexibility and Balance, Reduce Stress, Increase Energy Level, Tone and Strengthen Muscles

Tai Chi for stress reduction and fall prevention
Tai Chi — Come learn to de-stress, wind down, relax, become more flexible. Also increase your strength and balance! Discover the health benefits and relaxation offered by the ancient art of Tai Chi! Read More »

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Tai Chi Classes Section 3
Burke Fairfax Springfield VA Area
Mon, Jan 9-Apr 17, 2017

Tai Chi Classes — Continue to Improve Flexibility and Balance, Reduce Stress, Increase Energy Level, Tone and Strengthen Muscles

Tai Chi for stress reduction and fall prevention
Tai Chi 3 — Continue to de-stress, wind down, relax, become more flexible. Also increase your strength and balance! Deepen the health benefits and relaxation offered by the ancient art of Tai Chi! Read More »

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Taiji Shen Gong Workshop in Burke

What a fantastic workshop! To all my students, you are amazing! Thank you for your enthusiasm and dedication.

This video was created due to the multiple requests of my students. It is intended to support you as you continue your practice of Taiji Shen Gong. It is with great humility that I publish this video. Thank you to all of my dedicated students. I hope this assists you in your learning.

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