Thursday

Compromise to please others is not as good as integrity that annoys others. Rather than be praised without being good, it is better to be slandered without being bad.

(Huanchu Daoren)


Wednesday

Why do you move badly?

The average adult has spent a lifetime using their body in a haphazard, careless way. Sitting too much, leaning, slouching, favouring one arm over the other.

When they exercise, they do so sloppily.

At no point have they actually undertaken any sort of deliberate training designed to improve 'body use'.

How do you move?

Most adults imagine that they move pretty well... Then they enter a tai chi training hall and discover that their coordination, balance, gait, sensitivity, awareness and body control is actually poor.

Their steps are often very heavy and their legs are locked and immobile. There is a sense of clumsiness. People frequently walk in an agitated manner; over-striding and erratic.

 The lower back is inflexible, the sacroiliac does not move correctly. The back is stooped, the neck stiff, shoulders raised, muscles tense and the hands are tight. They are jerky and uncoordinated.

Tuesday

Pain is the sensation our body uses to influence our judgement. 
Pain tells us that something is not right - this is the most important aspect of pain.
Resisting pain, such as masking it with painkillers, can make things worse.

The earliest symptoms of pain should be heeded.

(Philip Maffetone)

Going too far

It is quite understandable that after a challenging day at work many people just want to sit down, eat a nice meal and watch TV. There isn't anything intrinsically wrong with this.

 Providing it's in moderation.

 The problem lies with the fact that people sit for hours in front of the TV/computer. Eating junk food. Drinking alcohol. At some point this becomes very unhealthy.

Thursday

The root of ignorance itself is our mind’s habitual tendency to distraction.

 (Sogyal Rinpoche)
A martial artist needs to be smart. Asking playground questions such as - "Which martial art would win: MMA or taijiquan?" - indicates a notable lack of intelligence. Surely, the answer is obvious?

 The Art itself does nothing. It is the individual who makes manifest the skills and the strategies. This is what determines the outcome.

Wednesday

Not changing is fine if your circumstances are constant. But are they ever constant? Our bodies slowly deteriorate day-by-day. We could lose our job. Our partners could leave us. We might get ill.

Change is inevitable. Even if you stand still, life won't.

 Yin/yang is about exchange. To get something, you have to give something. You have to do something.

The origin of laziness?

It is believed that laziness is a biological trait. A survival tool. In itself laziness is not necessarily a bad thing. People often see/hear the word 'lazy' as being a stigma and get defensive.

Imagine that you're a primitive human living in a valley 10000 years ago...
The valley has all that you need. It is safe. It is free of hostile predators or rival tribes.

 There would be no sense in going elsewhere. This is laziness. A desire to maintain the status quo. Not to change.

Sunday

90 minutes a day...

Dr Michael Greger (author of How Not To Die) recommends 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day.

The three doctors who wrote The Okinawa Program maintain that tai chi - with its ancient origins and incredible health benefits - is the ideal form of exercise for modern people.