The framework I use for teaching in the videos below is based in traditional Chinese medicine, where the elements, nature, and animals are envisioned and imitated in order to sustain one’s physical health. By using slow and gentle movement, guided at first, it is not uncommon for participants to move in their own rhythm, their own style, as they feel more comfortable in the forms.
The first section of each video offers guided movement with light music, but you can turn off the volume and follow silently, if you prefer. The ‘instruction’ for the movements starts at around twenty-five minutes into each. You need only watch this section if you are interested in the theory behind the movements; most people watch this once or twice, and then again, only as needed.
As I had to do when I reviewed these videos, please keep in mind that I was more idealistic, more certain and more young than I am now and would present the movements a bit differently at this time in my life. It has taken me a while to come to terms with this personal evolution, and it seems timely for me to bring them back into my teaching now.
For the mind and body are dependently arisen; my attempts to separate them was an unnatural exile.
With special thanks
The chi gong form I am demonstrating in the first three videos is called the Eight Treasures, a family style in Ni, Hua Ching’s lineage, which I learned at Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Tai Ji form is a blend of styles from a variety of teachers, and the video on Emotional Vitality I put together after the death of my sister, Mary. It is inspired by my suffering, grieving and healing process. Irene Modaro, my mother, proposed the idea of making these videos and my father, Don, and sister, Cathy, joined in to make it a family endeavor. All the videos are produced and directed by William Gazecki. He and I had many spicy discussions on how to present these movements in an easy to follow format.