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The Dragon's Head Blog: Pleasant Times in Pleasant Hill, California

Concentration was high among the 80 participants in a weekend international workshop held June 3 and 4.  They came to sunny northern California to experience the ways that Taoist Tai Chi® arts massage the internal organs and promote health and fitness.

The weekend included several indoor and warmish outdoor sets, insight on different and useful ways to do donyus and toryus (though the old ways still suffice), and delicious snacking and meals, as well as catching up with old friends and making new ones. The saber, sword and Lok Hup Ba Fa demonstrations were stunning.

Among the participants were four who were 6 foot 6 inches tall or taller. They discussed the physical difficulties of being tall and how Taoist Tai Chi® practice has helped them improve their balance, flexibility, bending and even dancing. One of them pointed out that only .154 percent of the population reaches that height, so we were way over the standard of tall statistics with these four who found they enjoyed talking with each other with dead-on eye contact.

Some informal chat brought up benefits that participants had already realized by practicing Taoist Tai Chi® arts. Mentioned were a shoulder injured, so golf was traded in for the exercise of tai chi; knees that had been in pain before tai chi but now are not; a back’s soreness so improved that bend-over gardening could be resumed; blood pressure returned to normal from a high of 200/120 so that stairs could now be climbed.

And more: “My knees started hurting on long drives, but I used the tai chi technique of lifting my whole foot up instead of just my toes — and it works! No more pain!” Also: “Tai chi helped me to be more focused and inspired me to change my lifestyle health-wise — I attend classes regularly and they keep me bending and make me stronger.” Finally, several said they find it spiritually uplifting to do the 108 moves, and treasure the deep sense of community, friendship and camaraderie in classes.

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