Practice Tai Chi during the pandemic – COVID-19

  • TCM practitioners have offered health tips to people amid the global outbreak
  • Traditional Chinese medicine is used widely in treating the coronavirus in China
  • 92% of the patients in China reportedly show improvement after such therapies

Traditional Chinese medicine experts have offered tips to help the public stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic.

They suggested people avoid humidity, practice Tai Chi and even listen to classical music to help maintain their health and stay away from the killer infection. 

Some Chinese medics believe the deadly disease, known as COVID-19, could be caused by the imbalance of yin and yang in one’s body, as a result of living in a humid and wet area.

‘According to the basic theory of TCM, the COVID-19 could be caused by “the dampness evil”,’ said Dong Guoju, a chief physician at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

‘The dampness evil belongs to yin evil. Yin evil can damage yang qi [in one’s body],’ she said in a conference call between Chinese and American medics on Wednesday.

‘The epicentre of the coronavirus was in Wuhan where the weather was wet and cold,’ said Zhang Boli, a Chinese expert in medicine and engineering. 

Tai Chi is also reported as an effective exercise to boost patient’s immune system and help them recover from the deadly disease, according to the Chinese media.

Several hospitals in Wuhan have included the Chinese martial art as part of the therapy sessions for their patients. Chinese experts also recommend people to practice Tai Chi at home to stay healthy during quarantine.  

Health experts suggested people to maintain a calm state of mind and avoid being too anxious or fearful about the virus. Listening to classical music has been proven to help people relieve stress.

Traditional Chinese medicine has been included as one of the key medicine used to treat coronavirus-infected patients in China,  a spokesperson from China’s State Council revealed on Tuesday. 

Although no cure has yet been found for the virus, there has been a high recovery rate among coronavirus patients who receive such treatment. 

More than 90 per cent of the coronavirus patients in China have shown improvement after being given traditional Chinese medicine as part of their treatment, according to Chinese media.  

Six patients in the Wuhan Leishenshan Hospital have reportedly recovered in March after receiving TCM-only treatment, including acupuncture sessions.

Living near Sedgefield learn more about a free class

Posted by Slanted Flying in Training  Tai Chi is the perfect moving meditation. I’ve found mindfulness and Tai Chi to be perfectly joined to boost mindfulness training. In our Tai Chi training we are often told to be mindful. So what is mindfulness, and why is it important to our practice of Tai Chi Chuan. Mindfulness is being aware, in the moment, being present in what you are doing and where you are at that moment.

We need to be mindful of all parts of the body, not only the isolated parts. For example in the movement “Single Whip”, it is very easy to be focused on the lead hand opening out, and not on the the opposite (hooked) hand or on the movement of the legs. This act of being mindful helps to not only unite the parts of the body together, but also the mind and the body.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is known internationally for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher. In this video below, he explains his working definition of mindfulness. This is another look at the meaning of mindfulness so we might better understand its use in our practice of Tai Chi Chuan.

In the video, he talks about an interesting and important part of mindfulness. That is to be non-judgmental while being mindful. Jon Kabat-Zinn then goes on to say what he means is to not to be caught in those judgements which colour the things we like or dislike.

How could being non-judgmental in our mindfulness affect our practice of Tai Chi Chuan? Perhaps one might not like the way the teacher is telling you how to learn a movement, which you might not quite agree with. If you practice this movement with that judgment in your mind, then you are not being truly mindful, and being in the moment to be aware of all the things that need attention. Perhaps you are proud of yourself that you can do the movements so well. Does this cloud your mindfulness so that you don’t notice flaws in your Tai Chi moving meditation?

Practicing your Tai Chi Chuan with true mindfulness is very difficult. There are so many things to remember when learning and even for those that have been practicing for many years. By practicing being mindful in the beginning stages of your training, you ingrain an important part of your training that will become more important as your Tai Chi develops.

As one becomes more proficient in their Tai Chi Chuan, the practice becomes more of an exercise of the mind more than of the body. The ability to maintain mindfulness in one’s practice is an integral part of achieving higher levels in the development of Tai Chi Chuan.

Tai Chi is a moving meditation

I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

History – How the course began

It started with colleagues joining me for Tai Chi practice. This lead me to explore the benefits of meditation which is exactly what you are doing as you calmly move through your Tai Chi routine. Colleagues reported feeling and noticing significant changes in their behaviour while practicing.

How powerful was a meditation practice?

This lead me to dive deeper into the health and meditation benefits of Tai Chi. On my journey I came across the work done at Google on their ‘Search Inside Yourself’ course. I found their research fascinating especially with regards to the six competencies that distinguish star performers from average performers in the tech sector. Turns out that four are emotional intelligence with the top two being EQ. What was mind-blowing was that emotional intelligence was trainable through a mindfulness meditation practice.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is your ability to recognise and understand emotions in yourself and others. The ability to use this awareness to manage your behaviour and relationships more effectively.

Decades of research now points to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with a tremendous result. Emotional intelligence has a direct link to your earning potential. Every point increase in EQ adds $1300 to an annual salary. This is true in all industries, at all levels all over the world. Besides supporting your career emotional intelligence training can support your life as well. Emotional intelligence influences health related outcomes. It reduces the perception of stress in response to trying situations. EQ strengthens the brains ability to cope with emotional stress. It helps you from having your amygdala highjack your brain. This resilience boost your immunity which protects you from getting sick.

Emotional intelligence training is essential because you gain value in many areas of your life. I have experienced the benefits thanks to my years of Tai Chi and blessed to have been trained by an amazing teacher, Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao. Who was a student of Cheng Man-ch’ing. I’ve also been witness to the effects a mindfulness meditation practice has had on colleagues and students. This is the main reason I developed a 6 week emotional intelligence training course at JUMO.

Corporations’ Newest Productivity Hack: Meditation. Businesses are experiencing the benefits of improving emotional intelligence in the workplace. We have a number of Mindfulness Meditation courses that can bring a productivity boost to staff, enhances focus, creativity and over all well-being. See an outline of what is covered in the emotional intelligence training course.


Individual Emotional Intelligence Mindfulness Meditation Workshop

Begin a journey of self discovery. Take a introductory class to learn the benefits of mindfulness meditation. We will teach you basic techniques so you can begin experiencing the advantages of a meditation practice. Studies show that emotional competencies are twice as important as pure intellect and expertise. Learn how meditation builds emotional intelligence which is a key factor in success at work and life.

Meditation is also a powerful tool in dealing with stress. The key to emotional intelligence is keen attention. Learn methods and techniques to gain this valuable ability. Mindfulness does not require having to sit cross-legged on a cushion. We show you how to practice mindfulness in all areas of your life. Additional Benefits of Learning to Meditate

  • Emotional stability improves
  • Creativity increases
  • Happiness increases
  • Intuition develops
  • Gain clarity and peace of mind
  • Problems become smaller
  • Meditation sharpens and focuses the mind
  • A sharper mind reduces tension, anger and frustration
  • Mindfulness meditation improves connections in the brain

Learn more about the science behind meditation. Science is making some amazing discoveries to a skill that has been around for thousands of years. Our post on the 7 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence. Take an introductory 2hr class to begin your attention training NOW! For a full course take a look at the company 6 week option below.

What we cover in the course.

1. Attention Training Attention is the basis of all higher cognitive and emotional abilities. Thus the key to emotional intelligence training is ATTENTION. The idea is to create a quality of mind that is clear and calm at the same time. We use mindfulness meditation techniques to build attention. We explore ways besides the traditional sitting meditation to enable us to be mindful whenever possible. Allow the student to experiment and explore their own unique experiences to tailor mindfulness into their day to day activities.

2. Self-Knowledge and Self-Mastery Use your trained attention to better perceive ones own cognitive and emotive processes. Begin to observe ones thought stream and the process of emotion with clarity. Learn to observe from a third-person perspective. Once you can do that, you create the type of deep self-knowledge that eventually leads to self-mastery.

3. Creating Useful Social and Mental Habits “I wish for this person to be happy”, becomes your habitual instinctive first thought. Having such habits can change everything at work. This sincere goodwill is picked up unconsciously by others creating strong trust. This leads to highly productive collaborations. Such habits can be volitionally trained.

There are 6 Modules

The course consist of 6 main areas than run for an hour a week for six weeks. Ideally have a gap between modules so students can practice the mindfulness meditation practices.

Module 1: Talks about the importance of emotional intelligence training. The science and research that highlight the effects and benefits of a mindfulness meditation practice and how it supports the improvement and optimisation of EQ.

Module 2: The theory and practice of mindfulness meditation. Get into the nitty gritty.

Module 3: Mindfulness meditation is not just about sitting. We explore ways you can bring mindfulness to other parts of your life. A good example is walking meditation which appeals to more physical people. Why I enjoy Tai Chi so much, meditation in movement.

Module 4: Self-Confidence, this section is about looking within ourselves. A single word encapsulates this section ’clarity’.

Module 5: Self-Mastery, in the sections we make use of self-awareness to gain mastery over our emotions.

Module 6: Empathy & Compassion. Develop empathy through understanding and connecting to others. These are the keys for developing trust which are essential for effective and collaborative relationships.

3 Course Options

1 Day Emotional Intelligence Mindfulness Meditation Workshop

We cover modules 1,2 & 3 which build the core skill of attention training which is the foundation you need to build and improve EQ. A follow up day in the future once a student has developed a good meditation practice enables them to leverage modules 4, 5 & 6 more effectively.


2 Day Emotional Intelligence Mindfulness Meditation Workshop

We cover all the modules. Day 1 we cover modules 1,2 & 3 which build the core skill of attention training which is the foundation you need to build and improve EQ.

Day 2 we do modules 4, 5 & 6. Ideally one should give the students time to improve and refine their attention training. Best is to run the second day sometime in the future.


Introduction and Emotional Intelligence Kick Starter

We offer a 1 hour talk to introduce the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Show how it support emotional intelligence and give staff a kick starter to begin a meditation practice. Get a view into why EQ is so important in both work and personal lives. Learn techniques of mindfulness that do not require sitting cross-legged on a cushion.

7 Qualities of Emotionally Intelligence People

  1. They are adaptable. People with a strong EQ are not afraid of change. The understand it’s a necessary part of life.
  2. Strong Self-Awareness. People strong in self-awareness know what they are good at and what they still need to master. Understand what weaknesses they need to work on. Know what environments are optimal for their work style.
  3. Empathy. This is the strongest gift. Having an innate ability to truly understand people builds trust and authenticity. The foundation of any relationship work or personal.
  4. Not Perfectionists. Life is always changing it’s never static. People strong in EQ understand that perfection is impossible. They learn to roll with the punches and learn from mistakes.
  5. They’re Balanced. How someone is balancing their work and personal lives is extremely important. They eat well, get plenty of sleep and have interests outside work.
  6. Curiosity. People strong in EQ don’t judge, they explore the possibilities. An inborn sense of wonder makes them delightful to be around.
  7. They set an example for others to follow. Highly emotionally intelligent people don’t get flustered when things don’t go according to plan. Have a knack for getting along with others. An ability to rise above daily irritations earns people with high emotional intelligence the respect from those above them as well as from their colleagues.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

At Just Being we have a course that can bring Mindfulness into your employee wellness program. Plus employees get to boost their emotional intelligence.

At Just Being we have a course that can bring Mindfulness to your employee wellness program. Plus employees get to boost their emotional intelligence. You have probably heard the term “mindfulness” come up in the workplace recently. It’s one of the easiest—and cheapest—ways to help your employees become healthier and happier. Why is mindfulness so popular? Every single person at your office has experienced stress or anxiety at some point in their lives, but not everyone knows how to deal with or cope with stress effectively. Mindfulness can be used as a preventive measure for stress, anxiety and difficulties with concentration. It also works to maintain and boost emotional wellness and awareness.

Mindfulness Explained

By dictionary definition, mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations—used as a therapeutic technique. Mindfulness does not involve any evaluation, interpretation or judgment. In other words, mindfulness is awareness of perception that focuses on “being” rather than “doing.” Mindfulness allows us to block automatic and compulsory thoughts that can cause worry, stress or distraction. By focusing on the task at hand or present state of mind, these negative or distracting thoughts can be cleared away. When mastered, mindfulness creates a sense of control over conscious thoughts, behaviors and attitudes. We become mindful of what we are feeling and how we are acting. Any activity at any time or place can be done with mindfulness. Examples of activities that can incorporate mindfulness are unlimited—for example, exercising, creating art, playing an instrument, working or cleaning. Once mindfulness is learned and executed, it can truly be used in any situation to help boost concentration and identify emotional needs or feelings.

Benefits Of Practicing Mindfulness

With the increase in popularity, mindfulness finally has numbers to back its effectiveness. Although mindfulness is certainly not a new concept, studies have only recently demonstrated the benefits to employees’ well-being. Aetna took the lead with implementing mindfulness-based wellness programs, and their recent success was published in The Atlantic. Since implementing mindfulness-based wellness programs, Aetna has estimated a savings of about $2,000 in health care costs and has gained about $3,000 per employee in productivity. Mindfulness should be cultivated for not only the purpose of saving money in health care costs and productivity but to help reduce or prevent an unhealthy mentality in employees. A 2016 study found that employees who received a weekly two-hour training course on mindfulness over an eight-week period showed improvement in several different areas, including satisfaction of life and hope, along with reduced anxiety. Findings from this study also showed that these employees displayed higher levels of concentration on work, as well as improved interpersonal relationships.

Try Mindfulness For Yourself

Whether it’s at home, on vacation or during the workday, mindfulness can be implemented in several different ways. Here are a few simple ways to make sure you achieve mindfulness to increase your positive thoughts, actions and behaviors:

  • Meditation. Mindfulness is essentially the main framework behind any form of meditation, and there are many to choose from. Some include clearing your thoughts completely, while others involve being mindful of any thoughts or feelings that are present. If you are new to meditation, do some research to find which types of meditation you would feel most comfortable trying or starting out with. Meditation can be done alone, with an instructor or in a group setting. There are also some great apps that can help you relax.
  • Tai Chi is how I discovered mindfulness. Tai Chi is a moving meditation and besides is meditation benefits, there is many science studies showing the health benefits as well.
  • Yoga. In addition to being an effective way to build physical strength, yoga is a good way to build mental strength. Similar to meditation, yoga is an enjoyable way to practice mindfulness. If you have already been practicing yoga, you may not be aware that you have also been practicing mindfulness, especially if you have ever focused on breath awareness. If you have never done yoga before, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Yoga is great for anyone, regardless of age or physical ability.
  • Breathing exercises. This is a simple technique that can be done anywhere, including your desk! Breathing exercises take just a few minutes and can reduce stress and sharpen concentration. There are many resources available online if you need help getting started on simple breathing techniques.
  • Wake up on the “right” side of the bed. Starting your day off by practicing mindfulness will help you tremendously. There’s no doubt that a bad morning will ultimately lead to a bad day. Mindful recently published great tips on mindful things to do to start your day. Keep yourself as stress-free as possible when starting your day so that nothing negative spreads to your office, colleagues or interpersonal relationships.

Looking To Implement Mindfulness At Your Company?

If you are an employer looking to incorporate some mindfulness practices into your employees’ workday, good for you! However, it can be tricky to figure out where to start if you don’t have much experience. Here are a few tips on how to implement mindfulness at your workplace:

  • Educate. Although mindfulness is a trendy topic at the moment, it still remains a foreign subject to a lot of people. Make sure to educate your staff on what mindfulness is and what it means to practice it. Introduce mindfulness in a meeting and share facts and research on its benefits. Show that you practice mindfulness yourself and include ideas for simple ways to try mindfulness. Encourage employees to share positive experiences about any mindful behaviors.
  • Offer classes. Since mindfulness is a relatively new concept for many, try offering beginner sessions in or outside of your company for employees. Although mindfulness is not necessarily difficult to achieve or practice, it can be hard for beginners to know where to start. Company-sponsored classes on mindfulness, meditation or yoga can be an excellent jumping off point.
  • Practice in the office. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere, including cubicles, desks and meetings. Try out some mindfulness activities at a meeting or staff outing to get employees engaged. Incorporate simple breathing techniques or beginner yoga poses and have employees try these at the end or beginning of a meeting.

Mindfulness is a step in the right direction when it comes to bringing a more holistic approach to your employee wellness program. Emotional and mental wellness have a huge impact on the well-being of your team. With a healthy mindset, it is easier to perform and concentrate during the workday. Try out mindfulness for yourself and challenge your wellness team to think of ways to bring mindfulness to all your employees.


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

Walking has been practiced as a meditative technique for thousands of years. Turn your walk into a mindful moment integrate mindfulness into your life.

Walking is a simple way to fit mindfulness meditation into your daily routine.

Walking has been practiced as a meditative technique for thousands of years, and is a great way to integrate mindfulness into your everyday life. But it’s easy to slip into a semi-conscious state, where the legs are moving but the mind is thinking about something completely different. It can sometimes feel as though we’re so busy remembering, planning, and analyzing life that we forget to experience life as it actually is, rather than how we think it should be — and that’s where mindfulness comes in.

Mindfulness is being fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. It keeps us from overreacting or becoming overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While we all naturally possess mindfulness, it’s easier to do when practiced daily.

Whenever you are aware of what you’re directly experiencing, or your state of mind, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.

Below is an exercise in walking meditation from the mindfulness experts at Headspace. It’s perfectly suited to a busy life. If you already take a daily walk, you need only direct your mind in a different way as you continue your routine.

If you live close to a park, river, or other pleasant outdoor space, try the technique in that environment too. There’ll be much less external distraction in these areas, which can change the way the exercise feels. It can also be useful to know how your mind works in contrasting environments.

Here are some tips:

  1. As you begin to walk, notice how the body feels. Does it feel heavy or light? Stiff or relaxed?
  2. Observe how it feels to walk without changing how you do it. It’s common to feel self-conscious but the feeling usually passes quickly.
  3. Be aware of what’s going on around you. Notice cars, other people, road signals, all the other things you’d expect to see. Notice the colors and shapes, the movements, and the stillness too. There’s no need to actually think about what you’re seeing — simply to see it and acknowledge it is enough.
  4. Turn your attention to sounds — what can you hear? Take a moment to be aware of them as they come and go in your field of awareness
  5. Next turn your attention to smells, some of which may be pleasant and others not. Notice how the mind wants to create a story out of each of the smells, how they remind you of somewhere, something, or someone.
  6. Notice physical sensations, whether it’s warm sunshine, a gentle rain, or a cold wind. Feel the soles of your feet touching the ground with each step, or the weight of your arms swinging at your side.
  7. Gently shift your attention to the sensation of movement in the body. Notice how the weight shifts from the right side to the left and then back again in a steady rhythm. Avoid artificially adjusting your speed. Instead, observe the way you walk and the rhythm you’ve become accustomed to.
  8. There’s no need to focus so intently that you start to exclude everything around you. In fact, be open to things happening around you and, when you know the mind has wandered off, just gently bring the attention back to the movement of the body and the sensation of the soles of the feet striking the ground each time.

Give your mind a break When you become more present and more aware, your mental habits will become more apparent. For example, how do you feel when your rhythm is broken by a red light, and you are forced to stand and wait? Do you feel impatient to get on with your walk? Do you find yourself jockeying for position with other people? Or do you feel a sense of relief at the opportunity of being able to rest for a few seconds?

Usually, we’re so caught up in the thoughts themselves, we hardly notice our reactions to all these things. Mindfulness is a way to bring us back to the here and now.

Mindfulness can help you reshape your relationship with mental and physical pain. It can also help you connect better. Ever find yourself staring blankly at a friend, lover, child, and you’ve no idea what they’re saying? Mindfulness helps you give them your full attention.

Mindfulness also focuses your mind and reduces the nattering, chattering voice in our head seems never to leave us alone. Isn’t it time we gave it a little break?

Source: Mindful, a mission-driven non-profit dedicated to inspiring, guiding, and connecting anyone who wants to explore mindfulness (mindful.org).


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

Balancing school, work, friends and family can feel like a juggling act, and many students turn to alternative methods to cope with their mental health concerns. Finding mindfulness to help.

Balancing school, work, friends and family can feel like a juggling act, and many students turn to alternative methods to cope with their mental health concerns.

Sally Powis-Campbell, psychologist and founder of Wholistic Health YYC Psychology Services, said that practicing mindfulness helped her to manage her high anxiety and panic attacks while completing her undergraduate degree.

“I was attending the [University of Calgary] and SAIT at the same time, and I always felt like I was running between classes,” said Campbell, who, in addition to her other roles, is a yoga and mindful movement teacher at Wholistic Health YYC.

“I was anxious, and I was walking on auto-pilot.”

Campbell defines mindfulness as “having the mind full of what you are doing in the moment.”

Mindfulness is about understanding what’s going on within you and around you, between thought, body sensation and emotion, said Campbell.

“It’s really about bringing attention to action.”

Campbell suggests that students anchor mindfulness-based activities into activities they’re already doing, such as having a cup of coffee, eating or walking between classes.

“We’re going to be walking anyways, so we might as well use that as a chance to bring mindful awareness into our life,” said Campbell. She suggests students “go off auto-pilot” when walking to and from classes.

The key to the informal practice of mindful walking, according to Campbell, is to notice when your mind wanders and bring it back to the movement of your feet.

Students who incorporate mindful walking into their day can look forward to experiencing new sensations on their travels. Even if they’ve gone between classes fifty times, it may feel as though it were the first time, said Campbell.

Erin Hymas, an education student at Mount Royal University and soon-to-be elementary school teacher, said that by taking her students for mindful walks, she is able to get them to focus on the task at hand.

“After we go for a mindful walk, they will be more calm, focused and less distracted,” said Hymas.

“Especially if we take them on a day when the kids are feeling rambunctious.”

Hymas said that one of the benefits of mindful walking is that you are not limited by your workplace or environment. She regularly incorporates a mindful walk into her day.

“You need breaks in the day. You don’t realize you need a break until you take one.”

You can incorporate mindful walking as an informal practice, or you can treat it as a formative practice as you would with sitting meditation.

Simple Steps for Mindful Walking:

  1. Set your intention for your mindful walk. Make sure you are free from distraction.
  2. Pay attention to how your body feels while you walk, and make note of the different sights, sounds and smells as you go along. Try to anchor to just one of your senses.
  3. If your mind wanders, simply draw it back to the sensation of your foot touching down and lifting off the earth.
  4. Try syncing your breath with each step: inhale on your right foot, step down, and exhale on your left.
  5. Keep note of your pace. How fast are you walking? Why?

I found this a valuable read and originally found the post here.

Image from unspalsh by Rob Bye


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

Posted by in   I’ve found mindfulness and Tai Chi to be perfectly joined to boost mindfulness training. In our Tai Chi training we are often told to be mindful. So what is mindfulness, and why is it important to our practice of Tai Chi Chuan. Mindfulness is being aware, in the moment, being present in what you are doing and where you are at that moment.

We need to be mindful of all parts of the body, not only the isolated parts. For example in the movement “Single Whip”, it is very easy to be focused on the lead hand opening out, and not on the the opposite (hooked) hand or on the movement of the legs. This act of being mindful helps to not only unite the parts of the body together, but also the mind and the body.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is known internationally for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher. In this video below, he explains his working definition of mindfulness. This is another look at the meaning of mindfulness so we might better understand its use in our practice of Tai Chi Chuan.

In the video, he talks about an interesting and important part of mindfulness. That is to be non-judgmental while being mindful. Jon Kabat-Zinn then goes on to say what he means is to not to be caught in those judgements which color the things we like or dislike.

How could being non-judgmental in our mindfulness affect our practice of Tai Chi Chuan? Perhaps one might not like the way the teacher is telling you how to learn a movement, which you might not quite agree with. If you practice this movement with that judgment in your mind, then you are not being truly mindful, and being in the moment to be aware of all the things that need attention. Perhaps you are proud of yourself that you can do the movements so well. Does this cloud your mindfulness so that you don’t notice flaws in your Tai Chi?

Practicing your Tai Chi Chuan with true mindfulness is very difficult. There are so many things to remember when learning and even for those that have been practicing for many years. By practicing being mindful in the beginning stages of your training, you ingrain an important part of your training that will become more important as your Tai Chi develops.

As one becomes more proficient in their Tai Chi Chuan, the practice becomes more of an exercise of the mind more than of the body. The ability to maintain mindfulness in one’s practice is an integral part of achieving higher levels in the development of Tai Chi Chuan.

Let us know in the comments section below what are your views and experience on “mindfulness” in the practice of your Tai Chi Chuan!

This was a great post via the Huffington Post wonderful tool to calm the mind. Americans have no difficulty adopting ancient practices into their health regimens. Take yoga, the ancient mind-body practice and contemporary fitness craze (and $27 billion industry), which continues its prominence in the mainstream — even after decades of increasing popularity. Many forms of meditation, likewise, have been touted for stress-relieving, health-promoting benefits by prominent leaders in business, media and the arts. And then there’s tai chi, this ancient martial art of Tai Chi can fight disease.

Like yoga, tai chi is a type of moving meditation — a gentle exercise that focuses on the breath and prioritizes ease of movement— that comes with a host of health benefits. And, like yoga, there are distinct styles and lineages of tai chi along with more modern and hybrid incarnations.

Many of the tai chi moves tell stories and involve mimicking animals — featuring names like “Embrace the tiger and return to mountain” and “White crane spreads its wings” — all performed with relaxed muscles and ease of movement. Through maintaining focus on the breath and physical movements, the practitioner is thought to be able to help to direct the flow of Qi, or life force, in the body.

The practice originated over 2,000 years ago in China as a martial art called T’ai chi ch’uan. It is said to have been created in the Wu Dong Mountains by a Taoist priest, who observed a white crane preying on a snake and then mimicked its actions. Today, tai chi is known as a low-impact exercise popular with older adults and practiced by over 2 million Americans each year. Harvard University has even devoted a research program to studying the health benefits of the ancient Chinese art.

“In this high-tech world that’s all about speed, greed and instant gratification, tai chi is the antidote to bring us back to balanced health,” Arthur Rosenfeld, tai chi master and author of Tai Chi: The Perfect Exercise, told Reuters.

Here are five reasons why tai chi could very well be the “new” yoga.

It helps prevent and fight disease.

Studies have found that when used to supplement traditional forms of treatment, tai chi can help maintain bone density, reduce pain among arthritis patients, promote heart health, reduce hypertension, and improve quality of life and reduce stress for breast cancer patients, among other health benefits.

“A growing body of carefully conducted research is building a compelling case for tai chi as an adjunct to standard medical treatment for the prevention and rehabilitation of many conditions commonly associated with age,” Peter M. Wayne, Harvard Medical School professor and director of the Tai Chi and Mind-Body Research Program, told Harvard Health Publications.

It’s as beneficial for the mind as it is for the body.

In addition to relieving stress, tai chi is also scientifically proven to help fight depression among the elderly.

In tai chi, the focus of the mind is on the breath and the physical sensations in the body, which can help to still racing thoughts and increase body awareness. These meditative aspects of the practice help to bring the practitioner many of the same cognitive benefits of traditional seated meditation, including an increased sense of awareness, calm and well-being.

Tai chi may also help to boost well-being by improving both the length and quality of practitioner’s sleep. A 2008 UCLA study found that practicing tai chi chih, one particular variation of the practice, was effective in improving moderate sleep complaints among older adults. It also reduced drowisness and inability to concentrate during the day.

It can help you age gracefully.

Tai chi can help improve flexibility and promote a health range of motion in older adults, while also building muscle strength. What’s more, women at risk for or suffering from osteoporosis should take note that research has found tai chi to be effective in increasing mineral bone density.

Tai chi could also be one of the most effective methods of promoting good balance and preventing falls in older adults, according to WebMD. Research from the National Institute on Aging found that tai chi reduced fear of falls and risk of falling among older adults.

It can teach you how to slow down — and how to let go.

The term tai chi itself indicates the harmonious union of opposing forces — and it’s all about going with the flow and moving fluidly within your own physical limitations.

In tai chi, “the objective is not to over-exert or strain one’s natural state, but to achieve unity with one’s essential nature, thereby releasing the body’s intrinsic energies,” writes Simmone Kuo in Long Life, Good Health Through Tai-Chi Chuan.

It’s accessible to almost anyone.

Tai chi isn’t just for older folks, this ancient martial art of Tai Chi can fight disease. It’s low impact, but anyone can enjoy the numerous health benefits of the practice. Even those who are in poor health can begin a tai chi practice and potentially improve their physical condition.

The practice can even be adapted for those in wheelchairs or recovering from surgery, according to Harvard Medical School experts, and it has been shown to improve balance and motor control among individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The ancient martial art of Tai Chi can fight disease.


I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’

A great post from the Harvard Magazine by NELL PORTER BROWN – Easing Ills through Tai Chi

CATHERINE KERR has found an antidote for the hectic pace of laboratory life in the daily practice of tai chi. This centuries-old Chinese mind-body exercise, now gaining popularity in the United States, consists of slow-flowing, choreographed meditative movements with poetic names like “wave hands like clouds,” “dragons stirring up the wind,” and “swallow skimming the pond” that evoke the natural world. It also focuses on basic components of overall fitness: muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.

“Doing tai chi makes me feel lighter on my feet,” says Kerr, a Harvard Medical School (HMS) instructor who has practiced for 15 years. “I’m stronger in my legs, more alert, more focused, and more relaxed—it just puts me in a better mood all around.” Although she also practices sitting meditation and does a lot of walking, she says that the impact of tai chi on her mood were so noticeable—even after she was diagnosed with a chronic immune system cancer—that she has devoted her professional life to studying the effects of mind-body exercise on the brain at Harvard’s Osher Research Center.

Kerr is careful to note that tai chi is “not a magic cure-all,” and that Western scientific understanding of its possible physiological benefits is still very rudimentary. Yet her own experience and exposure to research have convinced her that its benefits are very real—especially for older people too frail to engage in robust aerobic conditioning and for those suffering from impaired balance, joint stiffness, or poor kinesthetic awareness.

For anyone who practices tai chi regularly, “brain plasticity arising from repeated training may be relevant, since we know that brain connections are ‘sculpted’ by daily experience and practice,” explains Kerr, who is investigating brain dynamics related to tai chi and mindfulness meditation at HMS. “Tai chi is a very interesting form of training because it combines a low-intensity aerobic exercise with a complex, learned, motor sequence. Meditation, motor learning, and attentional focus have all been shown in numerous studies to be associated with training-related changes—including, in some cases, changes in actual brain structure—in specific cortical regions.”

SCHOLARS SAY tai chi grew out of Chinese martial arts, although its exact history is not fully understood, according to one of Kerr’s colleagues, assistant professor of medicine Peter M. Wayne, who directs the tai chi and mind-body research program at the Osher Center. “Tai chi’s roots are also intertwined with traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy, especially Taoism, and with another healing mind-body exercise called qigong,” he explains. “Though these roots are thousands of years old, the formal name tai chi chuan was coined as recently as the seventeenth century as a new form of kung fu, which integrates mind-body principles into a martial art and exercise for health.”

Tai chi chuan is often translated as “supreme (grand) ultimate fist”: the first part (“tai chi”) refers to the ubiquitous dialectical interaction of complementary, creative forces in the universe (yin and yang); the second, the fist, is what Wayne describes as the “manifestation or integration of these philosophical concepts into the body.”

According to traditional Chinese medicine, when yin and yang come together they create a dynamic inner movement. “While practicing, tai chi moves the chi and the blood and the sinews in the body—purportedly correcting health imbalances,” adds Wayne, who has founded The Tree of Life Tai Chi Center, in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he also teaches. “One key principle of tai chi is analogous to the saying ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss,’—if you maintain inner mindful movement in the body, it may improve your health.”

Tai chi, considered a soft or internal form of martial art, has multiple long and short forms associated with the most popular styles taught: Wu, Yang, and Chen (named for their originators). Plenty of people practice the faster, more combative forms that appear to resemble kung fu, but the slower, meditative movements are what many in the United States—where the practice has gained ground during the last 25 years—commonly think of as tai chi.

Qigong, sometimes called the “grammar” of tai chi, comprises countless different smaller movements and breathing exercises that are often incorporated into a tai chi practice. “One reason tai chi is popular is that it is adaptable and safe for people of all ages and stages of health,” Wayne points out. “Recent tai chi forms have even been developed for individuals to practice in wheelchairs. And although few formal medical-economic analyses have been conducted, tai chi appears to be relatively cost-effective.”

SURVEYS, including one by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (https://nccih.nih.gov/health/taichi), have shown that between 2.3 million and 3 million people use tai chi in the United States, where a fledgling body of scientific research now exists: the center has supported studies on the effect of tai chi on cardiovascular disease, fall prevention, bone health, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis of the knee, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic heart failure, cancer survivors, depression in older people, and symptoms of fibromyalgia. One study on the immune response to varicella-zoster virus (which causes shingles) suggested in 2007 that tai chi may enhance the immune system and improve overall well-being in older adults. However, “in general, studies of tai chi have been small, or they have had design limitations that may limit their conclusions,” notes the center’s website. “The cumulative evidence suggests that additional research is warranted and needed before tai chi can be widely recommended as an effective therapy.”

Most recently, Wayne and his fellow researchers have focused on balance issues and on cardiovascular and bone health—areas where tai chi’s benefits have begun to be evaluated most rigorously. “We’ve conducted systematic reviews of the literature, and in older people there is sound evidence that suggests tai chi can improve balance and reduce risks for falls, which have significant consequences on public health, particularly given our aging population,” he reports.

Wayne points to a study by Fuzhong Li at the Oregon Research Institute (which carries out assessments of tai chi’s impact on health conditions, including a current project with Parkinson’s patients): it looked at 256 elderly people, from 70 to 92 years old, and compared how they benefited from tai chi and seated exercise, respectively. “They reported greater than a 40 percent reduction in the number of falls in the group that received tai chi,” Wayne reports. “This is a very significant finding. Older people with thinning bones are at very high risk for fractures; a fall related to hip fracture, for example, is associated with a 20 percent increase in mortality within one year and very high medical costs.”

Studies conducted in Asia have reported that tai chi may benefit women with thinning bones. This has led Wayne and his colleagues to pursue another current research project—a randomized controlled trial with post-menopausal women diagnosed with osteopenia that examines bone density markers as well as computerized motion analysis to quantify how tai chi affects weight-bearing in the skeleton.

In addition, clinical trials and basic research studies on patients with heart failure “suggest tai chi may be of benefit to patients in terms of greater exercise capacity and quality of life,” Wayne continues. “More definitive studies to confirm these observations are under way, as well as pilot studies with patients with chronic pulmonary disease.”

Yet from a Western scientific standpoint, it’s difficult to pinpoint why and how tai chi affects us. In typical drug trials, a well-defined chemical compound targets physiological systems, and outcomes can be measured against placebo controls. But tai chi is a multicomponent intervention, Wayne notes, with many active ingredients—movement, breathing, attention, visualization, and rich psychosocial interactions with teachers and other students. All of these can affect many physiological systems simultaneously. Moreover, many of the older study subjects also have complex chronic conditions, so identifying a logical control is challenging: it’s just not possible to have a placebo in a tai chi study. “For these reasons,” he says, “we need to be creative in designing tai chi trials, and cautious in interpreting the results.”

HMS INSTRUCTOR and pathologist Marie-Helene Jouvin, who has practiced tai chi for a decade and teaches at the Brookline Tai Chi school near Boston (http://brooklinetaichi.org), has noticed the large number of students who attend classes there for medical reasons—after surgery, or if they are suffering from chronic or autoimmune diseases. But tai chi and qigong are not limited to being done in a classroom with a teacher, she adds. “They can be done when you are sick, or lying in bed.”

Indeed, Wayne, Jouvin, and Kerr all agree that the beauty and ease of tai chi offer multifold benefits as far as its daily practice: it is adaptable to numerous physical positions and requires no special equipment, expensive outfits, or specific athletic conditioning. “It’s not a high-cardio workout, it’s all about deepening the relaxation in the movement,” Kerr says. “In aerobic exercise we’re taught to tense the muscle and push hard. Tai chi is the opposite approach; it’s about the flow of the whole body in the movement.”

Like tai chi, qigong also accomodates busy schedules because it can be done incrementally—and sometimes involves only the smallest parts of the body. Jouvin, for example, sometimes performs an ultra-slow form of twiddling the thumbs under the table at meetings; she focuses on the minutest sensations—skin, heat, joint rotation, relationships among the clasped and moving fingers—and finds this tends to calm her down, especially during heated professional debates, she says with a smile. “These are things you can easily do to help yourself and focus,” she adds.

Perhaps because of these multiple forms and its adaptability, tai chi looks easy to do. Yet in demonstrating to a novice the most basic short form of the Wu style, Jouvin painstakingly explains 18 precisely choreographed movements that flow together in a set order and take about four minutes to complete properly. “It’s hard to assess if you are doing it correctly without having a trained teacher or practitioner helping you,” she acknowledges. “It can look like people waving their arms and legs around.”

At the Brookline school, this same Wu short form is taught during the course of 21 weeks of classes. “Most beginners will do the moves as if they were purely aerobic exercise,” Jouvin says. “It will take a while for them to feel the exercise internally. There seems to be an internal logic to the movements. It’s a form that was built over centuries and probably reflects how the body functions.”