January 22, 2019by Daphne1

Hi, Welcome back to another Seated Tai Chi and QiGong Session. My name’s Daphne and I’m going to share with you today some Tai Chi, QiGong and Low Impact Exercises that you can perform sitting down. So, let’s get started.

If you’ve already followed Session 1 then you’ll know the correct position to sit at in your chair. If not, check it out. Session 1 goes through in a bit more detail but we’ll recap now very quickly our correct posture on the chair. So we’re sitting at the front of the chair, perched on it, bottom on the chair, thighs not on the chair. If you can, our feet hip width apart and we’re grounding our feet. We’re planting them in that parallel stance, so feeling that floor underneath us. We’re lifting up and elongating the spine so stretching it out from top to bottom. Keeping the abs engaged so pulling belly button through to spine, chest lifted and all our joints stay loose and relaxed and soft all the way through all the session.

So taking that posture, calming the breathing, we’re going to turn our head to the right and back to centre and to the left, and back to centre. Chin to your chest so looking to the floor, and with care to the ceiling. Looking forward, ear to our shoulder and the other side. We’re going to do three shoulder rolls, backwards. Just stay within your own comfort zone so always listen to your own body, and the other way. Just working the top of the back, we’re rolling down and opening the chest. Exhaling on the effort of the bend. Big breath in, inhaling as we’re coming up and again. Knocking on the door, twisting from the waist, again just keeping it inside your range of motion. Two more, and one more. Moving onto the legs, we’re lifting the heel, and lifting the heel, and again. And take the foot all the way up this time. Next,big inhale, stretching right through the fingers and exhaling on the way down. And again. One more time.

So we’re going to hold a ball. About the size of a tennis ball and we’re going to pull it apart and push it back together. Now we’re going to visualise ourselves pulling and pushing our arms through water. It helps to use the natural resistance and engage our arm muscles. So we can waft our hands or if you want to get the most out of the exercise, really feel that movement and really work those arms. So we’re going to inhale on the way out and pushing together with an exhale. And inhale, and exhale, and again. We’re going to add some footwork by placing our right heel on the floor and pushing, as if we’re pushing against a wall behind us. And then we’re going to bring our hands into that Qi Ball position and we’re going to do the inhale and exhale. So do it with the other side, so left heel out and bring it in, and open and close. And again, heel and Qi Ball. Inhale and Exhale. One more time, heel and back. Nice inhale and exhale.

Our next move is from Tai Chi and it’s called Stroking the Horses’ Mane. So we hold a Qi Ball and we are going to imagine a horse in front of us and we’re going to stroke that horses’ mane, stroke all the way down the back of that horse and at the same time we are going to hold the mirror up and look at our palm. And then the top hand becomes the top of the ball and the bottom hand scoops underneath. So let’s do that again the other way. So stroking the horses’ mane and holding the mirror. One hand on the top and one hand on the bottom. So we’re going to develop that with a twist of the waist. So stroke the horses’ mane and turn to face the mirror and bring it in. And the other way and bring it back. Focusing on the palms, they’re our energy points, and it helps develop mind body connection, making us feel present in the movement.

We’re going to push our hands out, as if we’ve got two walls either side of us, we’re pushing against those walls and then we’re going to bring our arms and push our palms together, really engaging those arm muscles. And once we get them to about directly in front of our face we’re going to open them out and lift the chest. Bringing them back in and pushing them out. And again, bringing them in, inhaling on the way up, nice big breath and exhaling on the way out. Final time.

We are going to do Golden Rooster next. So we’re going to bring our foot into an empty stance so we’re lifting our foot and placing it down and at the same time we’re going to place our left hand on a tabletop next to us and right hand in golden rooster.Then we’re placing the foot down, placing the hand down and bringing our left foot forward and our left hand forward. Taking it down and I’m doing it mirror image so hopefully you can follow along and taking it down. And again, lift the foot and tap and bringing it back. And tap and down. Really focusing, keeping that posture going and keeping the breathing nice and calm.

Our final exercise is called Twisting and Bending like Bamboo so we’re going to clasp our hands, we’re lifting them up to chest height, we’re turning them over and pushing forwards. And then we’re going to lift them high above the head. If you can, but just keep within your own range of motion. You can always do this with your hands on your hips here. Absolutely fine. So we’re bringing it up. Keeping the shoulders relaxed, we’re going to lift and turn, just to the corner and bring it back and to the other side. Then we’re going to lift high and just side bend. Not too far because we don’t want to tip over. And the other way but stretching out and bending like bamboo. And we’re going to bring our hands all the way down and then we’re going to repeat that. Bringing it up, pushing it forwards, lifting high. Twisting to the corner. Just as far as you can, listening to your own body and the other side. Reaching high and bending. And the other way. And all the way down. Let’s do that again. so bringing it up, pushing it forward, lifting it high, twisting. And again. Lifting and bending. And inhale here and exhale on the bend. And inhale and one final time. Just adjust my shirt and again lifting up, and pushing forward and high, keeping the shoulders relaxed and twist and the other way. Lifting and bending and the other side and all the way down. Let’s just shoulder roll. It’s quite a workout for your range of motion with those bends and twists. And bringing it round.

Let’s just breath, nice and calm, breathing in and breathing out. Checking out the body. Feeling any tension and letting it relax. Thinking nice and positive, and calming the mind.

January 19, 2019by Daphne

Hi. So pleased you could join me for this Seated Tai Chi and QiGong session. My name’s Daphne and today I am going to share with you some Tai Chi, QiGong and Low Impact Exercises that you can perform sitting down. They’re designed to work your major muscles, get your body moving and develop that mind body connection that helps us relax. So without further ado let’s get started.

So first of all make sure that your chair is sturdy and solid, and it’s positioned on a level ground so it’s not going to tip over. Make sure that you’ve got enough room so that you can stretch your arms all the way up and all the way to the sides. And that the floor space in front of the chair is clear of anything that might be in your way. We need to sit ourselves forward, if we can, in the chair, so we’re perching on the end. My bottom is on the chair but my thighs are not touching, they are in front of the chair. And this is so that I can plant my feet firmly on the floor in front of me. I’m placing my feet hip width apart and I’m going to ground my feet into the floor.

I’m going to lift up out of my hip sockets so that my spine is elongated as if someone’s pulling from the top of my head and pulling me down to the ground and stretching out the spine. I’m going to keep my abs engaged, so my abdominal muscles here in the stomach area, keeping them engaged, which means I’m pulling my belly button all the way through to my spine so this core area is strong. And I’m trying to keep that going all the way through all the exercises today. My chest is lifted and in Tai Chi we talk about ‘song’ the joints. We’re not taking anything to a position of stress or tension, we’re trying to relieve that tightness and relieve that tension. So keeping our elbows, our shoulders, nice and relaxed and soft.

All the way through the exercises listen to your own body and do them within your own comfort zone. Remember to stay within your safe range of motion.

OK so sitting with the correct posture and good form, keeping the breathing nice and calm. I will do all the exercises mirror image so you can follow along nice and easily. So we’re going to turn our head to the right, and back to centre, and to the left. Chin to your chest, and with care to the ceiling. Looking forward and we’re going to do ear to our shoulder. Oh feeling the tension and trying to relax. Taking our hands to our sides, we’re going to do three shoulder rolls, taking them back nice and smooth, and three forwards. Again putting our hands on our thighs, we’re just going to roll the top of the back, just ever so slightly, just loosening it off and we’re going to open the chest as if we’re pointing it towards the sky. And do that again. Exhaling as we are going down, and a nice inhale, lifting the chin. Next is ‘Knocking on the Door’. So we’re twisting our waist, from side to side, arms swinging freely, just as far as you can, loosening off that spine, and bringing it back to centre. We’re going to peel our heel off the floor and place it back down. And the other side. One more time. This time we’re going to take this foot all the way up, taking it off the ground, peeling it off and placing it down. Peeling it off and placing it down. Final time. We’re just going to come in and hug and loosening off, and again. Final time. We’re going to do a nice big inhale, so all the way up, if we can, rising our hands all the way above our head. And bringing it down. And again, all the way up. Inhaling as we’re going and exhaling as we’re coming down. And again inhaling and exhaling.

So keeping our feet hip width apart, we’re going to start with our first exercise which is called ‘Balancing the Qi’
So all we’re doing here is lifting our hands to chest height, we’re turning them over and then we’re pressing down, and as we’re doing so lowering our hands we’re pressing our feet into the floor. Lifting up with an inhale and pressing down. Nice big breath in and breath out. And in and out.

Our next exercise is called ‘Holding up the Heaven’ so we’re taking our hands out, trying to keep our shoulders nice and relaxed, following our hands. Our palms are facing the ceiling and our fingertips are facing in towards each other. We’re going to press up to the ceiling. Then we’re going to release that stretch, moving our hands, turning them to face in towards our chest and then bringing them down ready to go again. Lifting up our hands with an inhale. Pressing all the way up and relax. And again. Reaching up and relaxing that stretch. Feeling it all the way through our body. One more time. And relax.

We’re going to move our feet this time. So bringing them together to start and we’re going to do something called ‘Opening Stance’. Now I have modified this so that we are moving both legs, and both feet and placing them into our parallel stance. If we do just one side we would be a little bit off centre as we’re sitting on our chair. So we are going to move both feet and do our opening stance arms. So if we follow along. We’re going to peel that left foot off and place it into our parallel, so just hip width apart. And we’re going to take the right foot and place it into our parallel stance, hip width apart. We’re going to breathe our hands up to shoulder height and then as we’re exhaling we’re lowering our hands and again we’re going to press down into the thighs so that we can feel that running all the way down to our feet on the floor. We’re going to replace our right foot in and then left foot in. Let’s do that again. So peeling that left foot off, peeling the right foot off. Nice hip width apart, parallel stance. Breathing in, our arms up, setting our intention, breathing out. Bringing in the right foot, and then the left foot. Let’s do that again. Peeling that foot off, with intention, and again. Breathing in. And left foot in and the other foot in. Final time. Peeling that foot off and again. Breathing in and breathing out. And this time leaving our feet in our hip width parallel stance.

Our next one we’re going to make some fists so we’re bringing our hands into our hips and we’re going to push forward, really engage this core, as if we are pushing something heavy out of the way. We’re going to turn our wrists and we’re going to make our fists and we’re going to pull them back in to our sides. We’re going to turn them round and push forwards. We’re not locking out our elbows, we’re keeping them soft but there’s strength in our softness. Engaging those arm muscles as if we’re pushing something heavy out of the way. Bringing it in and taking it out. Exhale as we go out, inhale as we pull in. We’re going to repeat the same exercise but we’re going to take it to the corner and just do it with one hand at a time. So taking my right hand first, I’m going to twist my waist to the left hand corner and I’m going to push across my body and bring it in. Let’s do that again, push and pull. And then turning to the other corner. Left hand this time, pushing it across the body and again.

Our final movement, hands placed on the thighs, we’re going to bring it down, rolling down, vertebrae by vertebrae, just as far as you can and then rolling up again taking it nice and slowly, and pushing up to the ceiling. And we’re going to relax our hands, bringing them in to the thigh and pushing out. Rolling down, rolling up. And taking it up to the ceiling and all the way down. Bringing it in. Exhaling as we’re rolling down. Inhaling as we’re coming up. Pushing up to the ceiling and taking it down. Bringing it in and down. Nice and slowly, taking your time.

We’re going to bring our hands to rest at the Dan Tien, one on top of the other. And we’re not going to move our hands now, we’re just going to close our eyes. WE’re going to breath in and breath out. Focusing on our body, relaxing, breathing, nice and calm, peaceful, final breath.

January 11, 2019by Daphne17

It’s really important before starting any exercise that you warm up properly. Warming up increasing our heart rate, gets our blood pumping and moving around our body, it loosens off all our body parts ready for the movement and exercise to come.

I’d recommend doing all our exercises within your own comfort zone. Listen to your own body because you know it better than anybody else and if it doesn’t feel right, it possibly isn’t.

I’d also recommend speaking to your GP if you’re new to exercise, if you haven’t exercised in a while or you’ve had a health or medical condition that you might need to discuss before starting off on a new exercise regime.

So the first thing we are going to do is a nice warm up. In Tai Chi and QiGong we take this nice and slowly and gently. We’re going to move each part of our body, one by one, loosening it off and getting ready for exercise.

HEAD & NECK – Move the head to the right, nice and slowly, just as far as you can and bringing it back to centre. And to the left. Back to centre. Chin to your chest, looking down to the floor. And with care, taking your head all the way to the ceiling and bringing it back to centre. Looking forward we are going to do our ear to our shoulder, so keeping your shoulders down. And the other way. We’re going to look around the room, taking our time, drawing a circle with our chin. And the other way.

SHOULDERS – We’re going to roll the shoulders, three times and three times the other way. Bringing our hands to our shoulders and we are going to increase that circle. Drawing circles with our elbows. And the other way, taking them back.

HANDS – We’re going to bend our knees. We’re going to draw our hands and squeezing in our hands tight and relax. We’re going to do that again, so drawing our hands in tight, squeezing and relax. And last time, drawing them in, squeezing them tight and relaxing.

TORSO & SPINE – We’re going to bend our knees. We’re going to turn from the waist. This is called ‘Knocking on the Door’ but we’re keeping it nice and gentle, just within our own comfort zone. We’re just turning from the waist as far as we can. We’re not turning to put any pressure on our knees, we’re letting our arms swing nice and natural, and just letting our body just loosen off around the spine. Keep it going.

BODY & ARMS – We’re just going to reach out to either side, stretching out the waist from side to side, just as far as you can. Again listening to your own body, keeping it within your own comfort zone. Keeping those shoulders relaxed. Four more, three, two and one.

HIPS – We’re going to do some hip circles. So forward, side, back, side. Let’s do that three times. And the other way.

FULL STRETCH & INHALE/EXHALE – We’re going to take a nice in breath, all the way in and all the way out, bending our knees. Let’s do that again. Bringing it all the way up and all the way down. One more time, bringing it up and all the way down. Yeah good.

LEGS – We’re just going to take our foot out, heel and bringing it back. Pushing it out, heel. And heel, bending that supporting leg and let’s do one more, heel and change legs. So we’re going to go heel and bring it in. And heel and bring it in. Heel, last one. And Heel and bring it in.

We’re warmed up and ready. Enjoy your Tai Chi and QiGong.