The Power of Silence

A Tai Chi break is not just about movement, breathing and visualization.  It is also about silence.  When I started working with students of all ages, I thought I might have to make Tai Chi more dynamic to get and keep their attention.  But that wasn’t true at all.  After the first 2 or 3 minutes of Tai Chi the class becomes very silent.  The children get more deeply into the moving meditation.  They will often tell me that being a tree is their favorite part of Tai Chi.

What does a tree do?  It grows roots, leaves, sways in the breeze, becomes taller and more and more connected deep into the earth.  It becomes stronger.  More powerful.

Why do students tell me they like that so much?  Is it because there is so little silence in their lives?  Walking to school is noisy, bussing is even noisier.  The lunch period can be almost deafening.  Music at home or in cars generally eliminates conversation.  So thumbs are exercise in texting.  Meals are often consumed with the TV on, often to loud.  Studying and falling asleep often involve noise, too.

Silence has become rare. Silence helps us know ourselves and to believe in ourselves so our self-esteem improves. Sometimes it is OK to say nothing.

Silence helps us in relationships.  It allows us to listen and learn about the other.  It helps us to learn. Silence helps us feel calm.

Some people find silence through meditation.  That is wonderful.  Some find it by walking in a quiet place.  Some find it through Tai Chi.

Can you find silence?  It will enhance your life, too.



Self Esteem vs Narcissism

For many years I have talked about what I consider to be one of the greatest benefit of Tai Chi in the children I work with.


I believe that if a child has the tools to find success in school projects and tests, in forming friendships and working  with others toward a goal, in relaxation and physical activities for fun, that we will see a child who is calmer, more cooperative, more focused and happy.  This is a child who feels successful.

I have seen this over and over again.  “I can do it”  is a great way to feel.  “I know how.”  “Look, mom, see what I can do!”  We need a balanced reality.

It is wonderful to see that sense of pride.

But what has happened in this narcissistic culture we live in now?    “When I post a selfie everyone can see how great I am!  Or what I am doing! Or how good I look”

But this is a false self-esteem.  This is superficial.  In many cases it is meaningless.  The affirming clicks  are often from people we don’t know, people who don’t really care about us. Narcissism is not self-esteem.  It is hollow and fictitious.

But skills that allow us to form true friendship through our own calmness and compassion, to be successful through focus and concentration, to fall asleep at night with a calm mind that allows us to rest and recover from the day’s activities, to feel happy and peaceful inside is worth working on.

That is what I call self- esteem.  This is one of the results of a Tai chi practice.

If you look for article on Tai Chi and self-esteem you can find quite a few:

Tai Chi increase self-esteem in the elderly .

Tai chi increases self-esteem in breast cancer survivors.  

Tai Chi has a positive mental effect of all ages.

Tai Chi has a positive effect on adolescents in a 1 year study.    Those who took part in the tai chi intervention reported perceived higher levels of good behaviours, intellect, school status, popularity and less anxiety.

So I will continue stating that self-esteem is one of the most important benefits of Tai Chi since it is completely different from narcissism.  It is deep, profound, life changing, all about connecting and being a part of something.  It is compassion, focus, success, health, inner peace.  It is based on experiences throughout life.  It is based on truth.  It is not a hollow statement.

What more could we want for our kids?

Thank you Harvard Medical School

Harvard University has participated in many studies on Tai Chi and has once again stated that:

Tai Chi is on of the 5 best exercises you can ever do!

It is not just for the elderly, or women or just men or adolescents or middle age.  It is for everyone.

Little Kids love Tai Chi

Classes calm down and focus with Tai Chi

No matter whereto live you can enjoy tai chi to relax and focus.

Harvard Health Publications of Harvard Medical School lists Tai chi with

  1. Tai Chi
  2. Swimming
  3. Walking
  4. Strength training
  5. Kegel exercises

Check out the details here.

And then remember if it is good for all ages it will be good for children, too.  Kids may not need Kegel exercises.  But they need the stretch, peace, focus, concentration, relaxation, balance and flexibility of this meditation in motion.

It is for YOU, for your children and your parents.  You can do it together.


US Government Study on Efficacy of Tai Chi for Children

A University of Michigan Pediatrician says Tai Chi is Safe and Effective for Children.

Not all complementary and alternative therapies are safe for children.  Some can be potentially dangerous.  It is important to look at the various therapies and consult your doctor. Especially when we are treating children.

But Tai Chi and Yoga are safe and effective.

“Research shows teenagers encounter a lot of stress, which puts them at risk for depression.  Mind and body therapies, such as tai chi, help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Tai chi and yoga help to decrease blood pressure and sympathetic activity in children. This allows for a sense of relaxation and calmness.”

Teen agers experience as much stress and adults do.  It robs them of sleep, health, focus and happiness.  We want our children to find success in this stressful world.  We need to teach them the tools of inner peace.

Tai Chi can make a huge difference.  It is time to try it.

The movements, meditation, breathing and visualization all make a huge difference in how we feel.  Everyone loves to do Tai Chi.