Allison's Tai Chi Articles
How Tai Chi Saved My Life
Nov 5, 2021
My anxiety level was through the roof and my guts were in a twist. I would experience at least 45 minutes of intense pain every morning after eating or drinking just a little. Then I would have to get ready and go to work, thoroughly exhausted. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) was the diagnosis and I was told there was no cure, just ways to hopefully manage it with medication and diet. It wasn’t enough, and the meds made me feel like a zombie, like I was walking underwater. My whole life revolved around my symptoms, which sucked the joy out of my life. The more anxiety I felt, the more the pain increased; the more the pain increased, the more the anxiety compounded. It was a vicious circle and I felt trapped.
My mind and my body were at war with each other. I knew I had to do something else, something to help me take control of the stress that was obviously in control of me, or I wouldn’t make it to 30.
Then I found Tai Chi — an ancient Chinese martial art and health exercise. I had seen it practiced on TV and, having a background in dance and some karate, I was intrigued with the movements — so graceful and flowing, and super cool. When I learned that the practice was good for stress, I enrolled in my first class.
How We Can Save the World
Oct 31, 2021
I pulled off the road to take the above photo. Nature is always astonishing to me. How it marches on, despite us, and our foibles. Our discontent. Our mental storms. Yet we only need to stop and notice, and realize another reality. A reality full of possibilities.
Bill Douglas from the World Tai Chi Day organization recently shared some information we may not realize — that violent crime across the globe has been falling steadily over the last 40 years, and is at an all time low. Yes, you read that right — an all time low. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports (from FBI and Bureau of Justice Statistics) that violent crime in the U.S. alone has fallen 49% between 1993 and 2019. But you would never know this watching the news or scrolling social media. Why? The sad answer is…the sowing of fear and anger is simply more profitable. It gets more attention, clicks, reactions, ratings, and sells more stuff. The recent Facebook whistleblower confirmed this fact. And it is true over most platforms where we get our information, be it mainstream, alternative, social media, “dark web” and the like.
And though statistically physical violence is down, online bullying and trolling (be it from people we know, or from foreign entities seeding distrust and division) have grown to new heights. And there is no off switch, no down time, so long as that device is in eye or ear shot. Even if the content is toxic, the allure, the temptation, to open that message or read that comment is just too strong. Negativity is highly addictive.
No wonder our mental health crisis is at an alarming level. So what can we do?
The Surprising Benefits of Online Fitness
Even I was surprised…
Feb 10, 2022
I know. I still hear from Zoom-hesitant folks that they just cannot adapt to the virtual format and they prefer in-person learning or nothing at all. I had my doubts, too, when the pandemic hit and all my Tai Chi class locations dissolved almost overnight. It was Zoom or GoFundMe at that point, so I went to Zoom. I quickly set up a Zoom subscription and alerted my students that they could find me there. I converted one room in my home to a Zoom studio, set up a virtual schedule, and created online membership packages. From that point, MoonWillow Tai Chi officially became a primarily online business. I still run a couple of live classes as conditions permit, but I am now mostly, and happily, a virtual instructor.
The first benefit for me was that I no longer had to drive all over to get to my various accounts. Pre-pandemic I was teaching at least 20 classes/week and putting a LOT of miles (not to mention wear and tear) on my car. It was also time consuming and stressful, especially in inclement weather or changes in traffic conditions. Now all I have to do is get up, get camera ready, walk into my home studio, open up Zoom and welcome a lot of friendly faces and voices that are happy to start class from the comforts of their homes as well. Many of whom live too far from where I was teaching before to have had access to my classes at all. The virtual format has increased my reach immeasurably, even outside the USA.
“The virtual fitness market is lucrative and is predicted to witness significant growth at a healthy 30.01% CAGR over the forecast period (2020- 2026)…Online or virtual workout, simply put, is the next generation fitness revolution.” —Pune, June 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)