Most of us are shallow breathers. Some of the mind-body prescriptions from both series, Sunset Tai Chi and Sunrise Tai Chi, will introduce you to various breathing techniques, which will develop your lungs and over time you will become a deep breathing individual. This deep breathing is like a savings account; every breath you take is another deposit of oxygen, every deposit of oxygen is an upgrade of every cell in your body.
In addition when you develop your lungs, you will have a bigger banana to quite the monkey-mind—the emotions. Both series will teach you the stepping stones of sizing the monkey-mind—the emotions, and developing the horse-mind—the wisdom. The method used is the path of a martial artist, which includes visualizations of the energetic system, and the practicing of the five building blocks at the same time. Both series focus on quieting the mind for relaxation, but quickly you learn to visualize the lower energy center, or what I call in both Sunrise and Sunset books “Center of Gravity Energy Center.” The goal is to strengthen the mind, quite the emotions and build up the energetic system by removing stagnation and improving circulation. Finally, I explain Eastern or nature methods to evoke spirituality in each mind-body prescription. This force is essential for the martial arts as well as in healing.
Tai Chi Sequences or Forms
The Sunrise and the Sunset Tai Chi books (as well as both DVDs) go farther and include a Yang-style Tai Chi program. This is great for individuals who are interested in deeper aspects of tai chi, and this depth can be achieved with only twelve moves. The basic Yang-style Tai Chi includes stances that are stationary and moving. I have included one move, Grind, in the sunset tai chi form from the Chean-style Tai Chi. The short tai chi form in Sunset Tai Chi is different than the one found in Sunrise Tai Chi. This means if you are more serious at the end of the day, you will have two different tai chi forms or 24 moves in total.
I strongly believe that is important to practice the tai chi form on both the left and right sides. This is important for health reasons, but over the years I found it a great help on the martial art level as well. Both Sunrise and Sunset Tai Chi forms are taught and preformed on each side, left and right.
Sitting Tai Chi
Both books and DVDs encourage individuals to practice the mind-body program and the tai chi part on an edge of a chair. Sitting on the edge of a chair is another way to practice tai chi drills and forms. Doing this, you will develop different skills from just standing. During my martial arts journey, I experienced a knee injury and for six months following, I kept going to my class and practicing while sitting on the edge of a chair. I cannot stop counting the benefits discovered and still, today, teach my students and patients these benefits.
Both books and DVDs encourage practice beside a wall or while experiencing nature beside a tree. This wall or tree practice will first help you experience and sense your energy as well as the energetic world around you much stronger. The wall or the tree practice also forces you to use and develop the skill of stretching and releasing the bows; the long bow, the spine, and the cross bow shoulder girdle.
Tai Chi Ball
Both books and the DVDs introduce and teach the Tai Chi Ball. There are some basic patterns for beginners with instructions to rise to the next few levels of training. This important tai chi tool is not commonly found in tai chi schools or taught by many tai chi teachers.
It is essential to understand the tai chi movements while experiencing a stronger sensation of the energetic system. With this basic theory and practice of Tai Chi Ball, you will understand and experience the beautiful round movements of tai chi. By holding the tai chi ball between your palms or projecting the tai chi ball roundness, you will sense the flow of energy through your body.
Rising and Setting Sun in Tai Chi Philosophy
One of the most important skills I teach in both Sunrise and Sunset Tai Chi is the use of the powerful energy of the rising and setting sun. Sunrise Tai Chi uses the rising sun to nourish our entire being as well as upgrading the energetic system. On the other hand, Sunset Tai Chi uses the power of the setting sun to dissolve and cleanse our physical and energetic bodies from impurities. Together with the command of the mind, this ancient and authentic meditation of using the power of the rising and setting sun to nourish and cleanse is a unique and rare practice which not many know, not many teach, and defiantly not many practice. Learn the skills of utilizing the rising and setting sun for health and martial arts purposes. This is an important application, which is not really known or practiced in most schools of the Eastern arts.
I challenge you to start these two meditations. The benefits and energetic experiences are a must for every individual looking for health or martial arts. For those who are interested in this kind of meditation and experiencing more of the benefits of the sun, I recommend learning and practicing the sunrise meditation in the Sunrise Tai Chi book and DVD and then learning the sunset meditation from the Sunset Tai Chi book or DVD.