Intelligent and Targeted Stretching
(Also Known as “Relaxed Conscious Movement”)
At the Tai Chi Association of Colorado Springs, we are taking to the next level the ancient 1000-year-old stretching practices of mind / body movement — jibengong and kaimengong — resulting in Tai Chi practitioners having healthy and robust bodies into their 70s and beyond.
Sifu Michael leads the class daily through an intelligent and targeted stretching session. This is not what you normally would think of when you envision “stretching” — but a much more ingenious way of getting deeper into your body, accessing lymph systems, fascia, and tendons, thereby creating a youthful, springy, and more elastic body.
Although the usual method of what most people envision as “stretching” may seem to give you the sought after beautifully toned and sculpted body, this type of stretching gives you that and more, it also targets the fascia, skin, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues that hold the body together. This type of stretching is extremely rehabilitative and healing to the body.
Read just a few testimonials from students here.
“Never before in all my years of taking exercise classes, have I ever heard another teacher speak in this way, Sifu Michael spent many years of practice understanding how the body works, and then perfecting how to reach these depths inside his own body, before ever instructing others He first accessed these deep levels of relaxation and healing inside his own body, seeing and feeling the benefits and then teaching them to others.”
“In class, you will hear new things for the first time ever, like stretch your armpits into your breasts. This gently massages the 2nd largest cluster of lymph nodes in the body, gently flushing this area for healthy breast tissue. Sometimes he tells us to stretch from the butt down to the heals, immediately changing and rebuilding the structure of the knees, giving them more support while moving, Or you may hear him tell you to gently move your collar bones and shoulder blades, easing the tight connective tissues in the upper back and gently massaging your heart, lungs and kidneys.”
Sifu Michael Paler is a truly unique and gifted teacher. He speaks about being relaxed, soft, and supple. Some of the most powerful martial artists in the world, like Yang Luchan, founder of the Yang family Tai Chi (also known as Yang the unbeatable), used these very techniques to train, target, and effectively use these power lines in the body.
Softness and elasticity in the body combined is the most powerful state of being. This intrinsic power is what we are born with, and all healthy children use this instinctively for power and endurance. But as we get older, unfortunately, we lose it.
Just look at a young tree branch, supple and bendable, and almost impossible to break. This is exactly what we want to accomplish for our bones, veins, and tendons — but the only way to achieve this type of internal power is through relaxation training. Stiffness comes soon enough, right! While we still have breath, let’s continue to move in the direction of a more youthful state of being.
Here in the United States we have been programmed to believe that softness is associated with weakness, one reason why everyone is obsessed with building big muscles, and pushing themselves to near collapse during workouts, but ignoring the things that are really important for health and longevity.
It’s time that we pay attention to what we are doing and also why are doing it.
The Mind / Body connection is a real and tangible tool we use. It’s not just a cool new fad. Pay attention to what you are doing. Listen to your central nervous system and be kind to yourself. Don’t just get on a treadmill, put on a pair of headphones, and run recklessly, but instead take the time to hear what your body is saying to you (ting jing) –listen to your body, know the very minute you experience an ache or a pain, and adjust your workout accordingly before you cause serious injury. This is how we achieve a more robust and healthy body.
Experience the many benefits of knowing yourself inside and out through relaxed, conscious movement.
Remember its not the what, but the how…
Come to our weekly Tai Chi 108 Form – (Beginner Class) and join us as we move closer and closer to a more elastic youthful state of being. see class schedule here
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