I have a client who's ranked among the world's top ultramarathoners...his knees are completely shot plus his first marriage ended because of his super-dedication to the sport. I had another client who placed at the Ironman Triathalon then basically trained himself into kidney failure and eventually died. And all of us know plenty of people who maintain their goal weight through strict nutritional discipline but are utterly miserable. Let’s call a spade a spade: sometimes healthy goals and your health (or at least your happiness) come to a fork in the road and go their separate ways.
There are lots of excellent trainers in the world. There are even lots of excellent trainers who know quite a bit about nutrition. But there are NO Personal Trainers who are also Certified Nutritional Counselors AND (most importantly) Accredited to teach T'ai Chi Chih moving meditation.
So right now I can literally smell the smoke: you're thinking "why does she constantly talk about T'ai Chi Chih like it's such a big deal?”
It's because the mind, body, spirit connection is irrefutable...if you think about it you'd have to agree you can exercise and eat right till you turn blue in the face but unless you find a way to off-load your stress you can still kiss your health goodbye. Or look at this concept in another (irrefutable) way: any healthy behavior if taken to an extreme becomes unhealthy, right? I often think The Great T’ai Chi (or as many people call it, the “Yin-Yang” – one of the most common symbols for all T’ai Chi practices) is metaphor for that always-taking-things-one-step-too-far aspect of our human nature…another vital reminder of the importance of balancing mind, body, and spirit.
And this is actually a concept I had to learn the hard way because, just like most people who are really into working out and eating right, I always liked the IDEA of meditating but was simply unable to sit still long enough to get it done. But then about 8 years ago, a hip injury ended my ability to practice karate just a few months shy of testing for Second Degree Black Belt so I decided to try T’ai Chi Ch’uan – a martial art – and walked into a T’ai Chi Chih class by mistake one day. There are no mistakes however, and it wasn’t long before I fell in love with this gentle yet powerful MOVING meditation who’s name literally means “Knowledge of the Supreme Ultimate”…becoming Accredited to teach is not only a distinction that sets me apart from my peers in the Health & Fitness world but (FAR more importantly) regular T’ai Chi Chih practice has cranked my physical and mental health up to all-time highs.
Regardless of whether you believe stress can actually CAUSE disease I think we all agree that worry never makes anything easier (in fact, isn’t the reverse usually true???) So here’s an amazing opportunity to try T’ai Chi Chih in a completely unique setting: beginning next week I'll be teaching early morning classes every Thursday throughout the summer in the stunning Main House Gardens of the Mt Cuba Center! I’m not advertising these classes on my website so click the links below for complete info on two 8-week sessions:
And although T’ai Chi Chih is certainly not the ONLY way to meditate, it’s definitely the EASIEST way which may make it the BEST way…T’ai Chi Chih may even be the PERFECT COMPLIMENT to any exercise or clean-eating program because focusing exclusively on fitness and nutrition alone eventually CREATES stress with the power to completely undermine your healthy goals!
Jessica Lewis, CPT, CNC
HCC Lifestyle Coach