Posts Tagged ‘guang ping yang tai chi’

Single Whip, Guang Ping Yang Tai Chi

If you have ever played a competitive sport, you have probably been exhorted to give 100 percent. Or, as the sports cliché would have it, “110 percent.” And the attitude embodied in that exhortation extends well beyond the arena of athletics. Whether the field of activity be business or law, selling cars or playing tennis, giving 100 percent of one’s effort and energy is widely regarded as a virtue, if not a moral imperative.

In the present American workplace, those fortunate enough to be employed might have little choice but to give 110—or 150—percent, day in and day out, to their jobs and sponsoring institutions. But for the conduct of everyday life, a wiser guideline may be found in the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi. At once a martial art and a contemplative discipline, Tai Chi is rooted in the Taoist tradition. And a cardinal principle of Tai Chi states that the practitioner should not exceed 70 percent of his or her physical capacity. As Bruce Frantzis, a contemporary Tai Chi master, explains, “[s]triving for 100 percent inherently produces tension and stress because as soon as you strain or go beyond your capacity, your body has a natural tendency to experience fear and to begin, even without you[r] being aware of it, to tense or shut down in response.”* By staying within the limit of 70 percent, you “can use your full effort and energy, but not to the point of strain.”** (more…)

Read Full Post »