Share The Health Event: June 7, 2014

The Vitamin Shoppe will be hosting our second national “Share the Health” event of 2014 on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Location: Lloyd Center VitaminShoppe from 11am-2pm.

The VitaminShoppe will be handing out gift bags for the first 50 customers who attend the event.

EH-F EH-M

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Winter Schedule of Activities

The 12-Step Buddhist Breitenbush Retreat “Right Living: Breath, Movement, Meditation” Winter Schedule of Activities Fri-Sun 1/31-2/2/14

Act

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Dark Cold Winter Blue

Dark, Cold, Winter, Blue

It’s obvious by a recent string of cancelations and re-scheduling that it is fully the sick time of year. Many patients are getting sick as well as some of our staff. The purpose of this article is to help with perspectives on this time of year. Have you ever begun to feel sick and thought to yourself, “I better not get sick, I don’t have time for this,” or “I didn’t put this sore throat, runny nose and cough into my calendar, GO AWAY.”

If you’ve ever had those experiences read on. There’s a dual-energy pattern which emerges this time of year. At one end of the spectrum, the season of winter is when the trees are barren, long ago dropping their leaves and sending their vital energy down into the roots. We tend to desire our thick socks, warm beverages, crock pots filled with stew and a warm crackling fire to sit by and read our favorite book.

snow-path

The other end of the spectrum is quite opposite and it has a pulling feeling instead of a natural unfolding. It’s called, “the Holidays.” Everything in life, the hustle and bustle begins around Halloween and seems to ramp up for Thanksgiving, reaching a fever pitch on New Year’s eve, causing some people to run out of their homes yelling and banging on pots and pans.

This behavior while tolerated and somewhat encouraged may not be totally healthy or balanced. Can we have the two? The best of both worlds would be the calm, quiet and reflective moments of a cold winter morning, AND the supportive community of celebration and connection with family, friends, coworkers and even those friendly strangers.

Let’s not forget that, we do not have to dive head first into the madness of the holiday season. Focus on whatever parts you enjoy most and really do your best to do it your way and not anybody else’s. By all means, if you want to run out of your house yelling at the top of your lungs wailing away on a pot or pan, do it.  It’s all good.

warm-house

Remember, if you do begin to get sick come in to the clinic and we can help you get better. It’s pretty easy. Beyond that, you can schedule an appointment to get that all too infrequent pause and calm of a relaxing acupuncture treatment. You do not have to be pulled or pushed by the Holidays. You can remain in the center and balance of the winter.

To make an appointment please visit: www.balhic.com or call 503-492-2625

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Xingyi Punch

In this post I present the image of a xingyi punch.  Xingyi like Taiji is an internal Chinese martial art.  Where Taiji focuses on more spiraling motions, Xingyi is more about straight line and chainsaw like movements.

This photo demonstrates the middle of the move.  I’m centered with my weight distribution between both feet.  My central equilibrium is upright and rooted.  Shoulders down and relaxed, fists loose and ready.   The most important thing is the DanTian.  Notice that it is relaxed and pointed towards the target.

Notice the front foot turned slightly inward.  That is important for being able to bring the foot up to block.

The basic form repeats in a line walking drill.  Punch, step, punch, step, punch, step.

 

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QiWorkshop Series 2012

Beginning in February a 3 part series will begin exploring the concepts of the QiWorkout.  Designed to be taken as a whole or individually this series is perfect for beginners new to taiji and qigong and any energy art.

Studio X, is a hidden gem of a space.  We will have access to punching bags, free weights and other equipment, so I’m really looking forward to incorporating those into the Workshops.

qiworkout-photo-flyer

It’s going to be open to adults and some children, so it’ll have a family friendly atmosphere.  I’ve been in many Taiji workshops and sometimes it can be very serious.  Although, the content is serious and learning any sort of healing or martial art is completely serious, my approach is to feel as natural and comfortable as possible.

Here is a testimonial from a student of mine:

I started taking Tai Chi classes from Daniel Espiritu at Me Fitness several months ago.  I had missed the first few months of classes and feared I would be behind the other students, as I expected a traditional Tai Chi class consisting of one general routine.  I was encouraged when I went to my first class to learn that Daniel is more interested in teaching how to develop and maintain Qi than he is in teaching a routine and, therefore, every class is different and adjusted to the individual student(s).

I find Daniel’s philosophy and holistic style of teaching challenging and exciting not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually.  His passion for the mystery of Qi carries over to his inspired teaching and in his sessions, I feel I’m dancing, doing martial arts, meditating, and worshipping all at the same time.  His simple, clear teaching style is refreshing and fun and as a beginning student, I feel confident I’m being taught correct Qi principles that may be widely applied to other physical or spiritual disciplines.

DETAILS:  to register call 503-866-3706  (register soon to reserve your spot as space is limited)

Dates:  2/4; 4/21; 6/16

Price:  each workshop $40; purchase all three for $100

Location:  Studio X : 2839 SE Stark St, Portland Or 97214

Workshop 1:  Achieve greater integrity through Central Equilibrium

Learning how to be balanced and upright physically can enhance how we relate to stressors in our everyday life.  This workshop will focus on the identification and cultivation ofZhong Ding or Central Equilibrium.  No prior experience necessary, beginners welcome

Workshop 2:  Internal Harmony of Mind, Intent, Breath, Strength (xin, yi, qi, li)

Through the harmonizing of the three internal connections (li san he), the practitioner will manifest the complete focus and relaxation of one’s mind and heart.  These skills can be used in all aspects of life, from the boardroom, basketball court, or dining room table.

Workshop 3:  Awareness and Sensitivity Training

Awareness is key.  Listening energy or ting jing is required for proper Taijiquan skill.  We will use two person drills and other instruction to develop better listening and sensitivity.

I’m really looking forward to these QiWorkshops and hope to see you in class soon.

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Taiji Essentials for Beginners

assume

There are many things to consider when beginning any new exercise program.  One must be especially mindful when beginning a practice such as Taijiquan.  Taijiquan is not only a form of exercise it is a complete system of health and wellness.  Also it is something best practiced for a lifetime.  Taken in that light, it is most important to build a solid foundation to your practice, especially if it truly going to be a life-long journey.  The Art of Taijiquan has much theory and wisdom which can be alluring and even mesmerizing to the newcomer wanting to learn everything, all at once.

When reading and learning new material; most of us have been trained to learn with the head (mind) and brain.  Taiji is best learned with the body and the heart (mind) or shen.  This form of learning is much different and in my opinion much better to really gain the wisdom necessary to incorporate deep and rich materials into your life.

The first concept, I’ll introduce is the simple act of standing.  In many martial arts there is some form of standing qigong.  In Taiji it is called zhan zhuang or Pole Standing.  The simple act of standing upright and doing nothing.  That’s it.  Sounds easy doesn’t it?

Well, if you can stand comfortably for 30-40 minutes I will bow at your feet and call you master.  I’d love to see it.

Some things to keep in mind when Pole Standing are:

Calm the mind

Relax the body, all the major joints, using as little muscle as possible

Focus on the breath

Focus on the internal Qi and Dantian

dan-tien

Let me know how this works for you?
Oh yeah, this can be done every day of your life.  It’s simple and profound.

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What is the QiWorkout?

bruce

As a Taiji and Qigong practitioner for many years, I have grown within my daily practice.  I love all the various practices I do so much and think they are so integral to living a healthy balanced life that I’ve taken it as my mission to bring these practices to the public.  Just as a comparison, look at yoga as practiced in the US.  If you compare Yoga and Taiji, they are both old and they both were introduced into the US roughly during the same period.

Why is Yoga so much more mainstream and popular than Taiji?

Rather than focusing on that answer I’m doing what I can to change it.  Taiji and Qigong are so important for the world and could be used to help so many people that it can’t be left hidden in the background.  Taiji and Qigong can help save the world!!!  Seriously.

I’ve developed the QiWorkout as a way to give the public an easy and effective way to practice Taiji and Qigong.

So, what is the QiWorkout?   It is a blend of Qigong and Taiji.  It is a workout.  Your Qi is being worked out.  You will sweat and be challenged.  In class you are led through different exercises which help to develop many things:  balance, alignment, coordination, strength, breath control, Qi control, proprioception, martial skill, speed and quickness, dynamism, health, yin/yang, and longevity.

To learn Qigong and Taiji can take a lifetime and you can certainly practice for as long as you live.  There are many concepts, theories and philosophies.  As an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine man, I can take that even further and make direct connections with health and rehabilitation from illness.  As the QiWorkout class is designed to be easy and drop-in-able each class ends up being quite unique.  Qi shouldn’t be a foreign concept to people in the US.  It is something experienced every single day.  The techniques learned in the QiWorkout will give you a direct connection to your Qi and beginning from the first class you’ll be able to move that Qi everywhere in your body.

feel-your-qi

Why did I use the image of Bruce Lee at the beginning of this article?  Well, for many reasons.  He was and is a huge inspiration and mentor to me for many reasons.   He also was a key figure for bringing the art of Kung Fu to the USA, through film.  Bruce Lee also created his own martial art form called Jeet Kune Do.  He was a real person, and practiced what he preached.
Bruce Lee is my mentor for making Taiji and Qigong popular, in the form of QiWorkout.

I’m excited to share this with the world and am confident that it will bring the benefits of these ancient arts to more and more people in the world, in a fun and engaging format.

Come check out a class.


I teach at: Root http://rootwholebody.com/yoga-2/schedule-schedule

On Mondays 4-5pm and every 3rd Thursday (this Thursday) at 7:30pm

and at:  YogaPilatesNE  http://www.yogapilatesne.com/Classes/class-schedule-3.html
On Tuesdays 6-7pm

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Espiritu Health Taijiquan

taijim

Is there such thing as a Taiji Master?  I’ve had many teachers in the past and some I called Master.  They really earned that title I thought, and I was certainly afraid of their Taiji skills.  But what about the non-Chinese people?  I’m not from China and I don’t speak or read Chinese.  Can I be a Taiji master?

If I’m still teaching Taiji in 30 years, don’t you dare call me master.  I would never consider myself to be the master of anything or anybody except myself.  Maybe it is my American upbringing, but it doesn’t matter, any way you slice it, I’m not interested in being anybody’s master.  On the other hand I could entertain the idea of being a mentor.

A mentor is something I can handle and even embrace.  Part of the reason for me starting this blog is to put myself out there as a mentor, to anybody who would like to learn from me.  I’ve been practicing for a long time and I have passion for the art of Taijiquan.  Seeing people move and feeling what Taiji feels like in their own bodies is such a wonderful sight.  The body is beautiful, when it moves.  Everybody has grace, beauty and elegance and through Taijiquan, I feel that it can be cultivated.

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Audio / Video

avI’ve been thinking a lot lately about this simple concept of A/V. The simple question is, “do I look like what I sound like?” We’ve all heard the saying, ‘practice what you preach.’ I don’t think that is very useful anymore in this day and age. Who is really bold enough to be preaching, at this point anyway? Unless you are a politician or a judge, nobody is going to take you seriously, if you stand up on your soap box and go for it. So what does one do to get their message out there affectively?

What is more useful, at least for me, is to really just focus on Audio and Video. Do the words that come out of my mouth, look like they should come out of my mouth? Do I look like an “acupuncturist” or a “taiji” enthusiast? Do I look like I spend 5-6 days in the gym? Do I look like I know how to eat right and have good nutrition and supplementation? If I don’t look like the part, who is going to take me seriously?

When I say, “look like,” I don’t strictly mean looking with the eyes; though that is very important because we as humans rely so much on our vision. What I do mean is that feeling you get when you watch a really engaging movie. For instance, TRON LEGACY. That movie, made me feel like I was there, in the Grid. It came through the movie screen and I felt it inside my cells. And I wanted more, so I saw it 2 more times!!!

Can I have that affect on people? Can I truly make a difference in people’s life, just by being me? If my Audio and Video are balanced and in harmony the message is clear. The picture of Daniel = Acupuncturist, Taiji player, Healer, is crystal clear and more powerful. That is my focus and all my energy is on that.

The other thing to think about is your Audio. Choose your words wisely. If you are out of shape…don’t tell others how to get in shape. Save your words and your breath and go to the gym and get out of breath. WORK OUT. After some time, you’ll be in shape and you’ll know how you did it and THEN you can school others on how to lose weight.

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Are you feeling lucky?

lucky1

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