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Carolyn Cooper's
Published by Tai Chi Flow, Inc.

Issue #15
Oct 2005

1) Carolyn's Comments Joyful Simplicities
2) Featured Article:
Tai Chi for Sports
3) Closing Thought

"Year by year the complexities of this spinning world grow more bewildering and so each year we need all the more to seek peace and comfort in the joyful simplicities." This statement is from the Woman's Home Companion--Dec.1935That was nearly 70 years ago! If the world seemedbewildering at that time, how much more do we need to seek peace and comfort in the joyful simplicities in our day? I believe that having a healthy routine in placeis important, but equally important are those spontaneous moments with family and/or friends.Sometimes that means a detour from routine.There are mornings to sleep in, and there arerainy days when it just feels right to make abig batch of chocolate chip cookies. Give yourselfthe freedom to live in the moment and appreciatethose joyful simplicities. Do something spontaneoustoday! Some days, the routine can wait-because life won't.

Featured Article: Tai Chi for Sports
Tai Chi is awesome as a sports training tool because its goal is to cultivate balance, calm, and power. Those are three things one needs to excel in any physical activity. During Tai Chi practice you learn about the lower dan tien, which is an energy center located just below the navel. Tai Chi players are taught to move from their dan tien, which is their center of gravity. This is especially helpful for skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, and skiing. Likewise, in baseball, golf, tennis and racquetballto hit the ball you swing from the center, or dan tien. Let's take baseball; Tai Chi's ability to improve balance is excellent for infielders, who move and reach quickly and sharply. And just before going into a pitch, a pitcher must hold his/her balance on one leg for several seconds. This point of balance can determine the force and accuracy of the pitch.

The concept of swinging from the dan tien may alsohelp reduce "golfer's back" because by creating the swing from below the navel there is less twistingof the lower back. This relaxed motion allows theentire force of the dan tien's turning to be projected outward through the hands and club into the ball.Many golfers discover that they can drive the ball much farther after practicing Tai Chi for only a few months.

The same force used in golf also works for tennisand racquetball. In addition, consciously moving from the dan tien can lessen the pressure on the knees, especially through all the quick stops of the game.

Of course, the mental acuity, balance and self-esteem Tai Chi encourages, is beneficial for other types of sports as well, such as football and soccer. It is well known that the LA Lakers basketball team used Tai Chi as part of their training.

As a triathlete, I use Tai Chi as both a warm-up for my regular workouts and also as an "off day" exercise that is soothing to my joints, yet still keeps my mind and body focused. As an added bonus, with each deep breath I visualize stocking up my energy reserves in my lower dan tien so I can draw from those when I really need them, like on that last mile of the course! It helps a lot!

Closing Thought:

"Be at peace with your own soul, then heaven and earth will be at peace with you." Sir Isaac of Ninevah

Create a great day!

Products I personally use and endorse:

FrequenSea Marine PhytoplanktonContains sea minerals, frankincense, amino acids, etc. And I love that the waythey harvest it is actually great for the environment! I swig an ounce of this every morning and evening-it has reallyhelped with my triathlon training! www.forevergreen.myvoffice.com/9065

Pocket Nutrition, spray vitaminsWhat a great idea! Convenient to keep in purse and car. Great for my little finickyeater, and also for my teenagers. Alsospray 'pawket' nutrition for pets. www.pocketnutrition.com?735

Road ID personal identification tagsto be worn on your shoe laces, wristor ankle. Don't leave home for a run, walk, or bike ride without it! www.roadID.com/?referrer=2238

2003 Tai Chi Flow, Inc