Tai Cheese: A Case Study


What do tai chi and dairy farming have to do with each other? Normally nothing, but in the case of Rob Taverner, tai chi helps keep him and his dairy cows happy. I applaud Rob Taverner for his organic dairy farming and his dabbling with tai chi to soothe his cows. I however can't say that his movements (as far as I can tell from the still photo) adhere to tai chi principles.

Tai Cheese?

Rocking the Relaxation

"Relax!"  It's a phrase you're bound to hear if you study an internal martial art, especially any of the tai chi variants.  But what exactly does it mean to relax?  According to the dictionary definitions,

relax (verb) is
  1. to make less tense, rigid, or firm; make lax
  2. to diminish the force of
  3. to slacken or abate, as effort, attention, etc.
  4. to reduce or stop work, effort, application, etc., especially for the sake of rest and recreation.

None of those definitions sound congruent with studying a martial art.  A key to effectiveness in any martial art is generating power.  The ability to generate force is highly desirable from a martial perspective.  So then wha

Crunches suck

Not only are they completely boring, but they also apparently aren't good for your back either. All that flexing puts unnecessary strain on the back. People usually do crunches to tone their abs and get closer to the six-pack stomach, but ironically lots of crunches don't accomplish that. Nutrition and total body exercise (i.e. dropping your body fat percentage) play a bigger role in the ab aesthetic than tons of crunches. Plus, overdoing crunches just overdevelops the rectus abdominus relative to the other ab muscles. The result of a rectus abdominus being a lot stronger than the transverse and obliques would be? Right. Poochy belly.

Spring Tonics

tea cup“You need a spring tonic,” decreed a friend in Rome, as I entered her apartment feeling light-headed and without appetite. She charged immediately to the kitchen where, with a flourish, she peeled a whole lemon in one long swoop, and tossed the peel into a small saucepan with about a cup and a half of water.

Lecturing nonstop, my friend instructed me, for future reference, to boil the tonic until the water was reduced to one cup, about ten minutes, then drink it hot.

Spring: The Season of Renewal

Yellow crocusesIn nature, progress often occurs in small degrees. At thirty-two degrees the earth is frozen and still, but move just one degree higher to thirty-three and the earth starts to warm and thaw. Then plants, whose energies have rested for the winter, begin an ascent that gradually forms new buds. People, too, who have rested their deep roots throughout the winter, now prepare to rise and bloom.

Random Ring Formula


rings in grassThe “Random Ring Formula” has a storied history. In a novel by the famous martial arts writer Jin Yong, during the Qing Dynasty of China (1644-1911), a high ranking military officer, trained in southern style taiji, murdered most of his taiji brothers to get the “Random Ring Formula.” Although his martial ability was already quite high, he believed he would make significant progress if he learned the formula.

6 Tips for New Year's Resolution Success

The New Year brings the promise of change and a fresh start. The New Year provides a perfect opportunity for making self-improvement resolutions. Unfortunately, it is all too common for enthusiasm and determination to quickly fade and for resolutions to become failed promises. Many people successfully complete their resolutions, but many people do not. What separates success from failure has little to do with willpower, discipline, or super human abilitites. Rather, it has more to do with suboptimal vs. effective strategies. Achieving your New Year's resolutions is quite achievable with a well-layed out and readily actionable plan. Here are a few tips for ensuring your New Year's resolution success: 2008 Holiday Gift Ideas

giftThe holiday shopping season has officially begun. We at The Internal Arts don't endorse rampant consumerism and giving gifts which serve no purpose other than showing that you spent money to show you cared. That's why we've assembled a list of thoughtful and health improving gift ideas to help with your holiday shopping. These gifts conform to our mission of helping you (and your gift recipients) feel vibrant and healthy, while at the same time not breaking the bank.

Defensive and Offensive Skills for the Cold and Flu Season

The colder months present a new set of challenges for our bodies to overcome. Drastic changes of moisture, temperature, and light cycle in the outside environment have a direct impact on our own internal environments. Preparing our minds and bodies to face the seasonal challenges becomes an art unto itself.

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