Tag Archives: yoga

Tai Chi and Chinese Medicine

When I was in TCM school, they often said, ‘If you don’t practice Tai Chi, you won’t be able to practice TCM’.  What does that mean?  Well, if you only have a didactic, theoretical knowledge of Chinese Medicine, you won’t be able to help anyone.  And if you practice acupuncture, herbs, or massage without exercising in the right way yourself, your treatments won’t be that effective, and you won’t last long in this career.

That is one reason why Tai Chi was taught side by side with the other aspects of Chinese Medicine.  Back then I was like others not seeing the value of slow motion solitary martial art.  But now that I am older, I see how Tai Chi is more important than giving a treatment itself.  If you don’t know how to stand, walk, move, breath, and control your balance, you won’t last very long as a wholistic health practitioner.

Not only the practitioner should be a practitioner of the physical arts, but so should everyone else if they knew what was good for them.  Physical Arts like Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qi Gong will keep you fit and able bodied your entire life.  Most of these crippling diseases in the west are the end product of a disease process that started in the person’s youth.

So whether you want to be a wholistic medicine practitioner, or simply want a long, disability free lifespan, do more than dieting and learn a Physical Art.

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How Important Exercise Is

When it comes to the whole fitness debacle, one must realize that a perfect diet is not everything and not even feasible or practical.  If you lead an active lifestyle, eat mostly vegetables, and don’t spend too much money on food, you will be fine most of your life.

When you exercise rigorously, you will find several changes in your life.  First of all, you wont have so much time to prepare food yourself unless you cook in batches on the weekend for the week ahead.  Also, if you exercise regularly, your appetite will increase, especially for starch.  Higher levels of activity and fitness require higher complex carbohydrates in the diet.

When you exercise a lot, your body warms up and a lot of toxins are purged through the sweat, heat, and breath.  What I am trying to say is, even if you are health conscious, exercising more and worrying less about diet will help you.

Usually, when people are busy, exercise is the first thing to be neglected. Exercise, especially strength training, increases your metabolism by building the size and density of your muscles.

So if you really want to get and stay healthy, don’t over obsess about diet and do some regular exercise.  Maybe find a sport you both enjoy and is age appropriate for you.

At the end of the day, the old saying, ‘less is more’ is the answer.  Intense, regular exercise can burn away excess sugars and other toxins so you wont have to be perfectionist in diet.

 

Do Not Fear Fruit

Despite having lots of sugar in it, whatever type depending on what fruit you are talking about, eating fruit is a good thing.  The tree or plant actually wants you to eat it’s fruit, because that is how the seed travels to other locations and takes root elsewhere.

When doing a sugar-restrictive diet, try to differentiate between good carb foods and bad carb foods.  Most types of fruit, especially lower Glycemic Index kinds, have sugar and fiber in them, so the fiber mitigates the rise in blood sugar and insulin.  That makes fruit a good thing.

Fruit is a good carb, a good food, and what God intended man to eat in the Garden of Eden.  Grain and Meat came later.

The only two really heinous food groups/types are Dairy and Grain, and even these have exceptions.  No animal needs dairy after weening of it’s mother’s milk, and Grain was hybridized by agriculturalists thousands of years ago as a cheap way to fill empty stomachs.

Some grains, like white rice, have a side benefit of curing diarrhea.  Oatmeal also has a similar effect.  And there are decent dairy products like butter or ghee, which makes an excellent cooking fat.

The point is, when looking for the Dietary Monster that is making the western world, fat, miserable, and dying, look somewhere other than fruit.  There are a lot of worse things out there.

 

 

Every End is a New Beginning

While it might be sad news for some, the fact that this blog domain name is expiring soon should not be bad for everyone.  Since I don’t really monetize this blog, I can’t afford to keep it going.

But as this blog name fades away within days, I plan on changing my approach to helping people and helping myself.  First of all, I will stop working for free.  The knowledge contained in this blog is enough to write a good book, and it’s all quality information.

Also, I’d like to get out more and teach students in a face to face type encounter.  Being sedentary and sitting infront of a computer (even for a short time) is not healthy or fun.

I hope those we enjoy my work should keep following my career in writing, art, and music.  Taoism encourages the creative arts, diet and exercise, and the practice of Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Kung fu.  Taoist medicine is about empirical observation and the stored knowledge of hundreds of generations of Chinese people.

I’m sure anyone can benefit from my teachings, in whatever form it takes.  I am simply trying to make some good out of my education and experience.  Thanks.

Philosophy, Religion, and Diet

In this era, anything goes.  But some people still adhere to dietary laws as entailed by their religious views.  Observant Jews don’t eat pork, shellfish, or meat and dairy together.  Muslims don’t eat pork or drink alcohol.  And most of the religious traditions of the Indian subcontinent advocate a lactovegetarian diet.

Veganism is growing in the USA.  The biggest reason people do it is because of sympathy for the animals and also environmental concerns.  Veganism is not a religion.   But if one examines history, it is the Ancient Hebrews who first considered vegetarianism a lifestyle choice.

Kosher vegetarianism is a very sane, moderate view of diet.  Meat symbolizes death and decay, while milk and dairy products symbolizes life and growth.  Fish and Eggs are considered Parve, or spiritually neutral.  A kosher vegetarian eats plant foods, dairy products, and is not against eating fish or egg.

In the east, amongst people like the Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Jains, lactovegetarian is reccomended.  Some Bengali vegetarians consider fish and seafood to be ‘fruit of the sea’ and therefore still eat it.

And amongst the Taoists, no food is taboo.  It’s about eating the right portions and proportions of food relative to each other.  Christians too say any food is clean to eat.

My view is to do what is best for yourself.  Don’t tell people about your eating habits and don’t bore them with your list of abstentions.  I like dairy products, so I’m not giving them up.  I do what is best for myself.

I believe meat, fish, and eggs was originally natural and good, but capitalism, consumerism, and overpopulation ruined everything.  Applying the factory line production method to agriculture was a grave mistake by humanity.  Animals are not machines, every animal, from insect, to cow, to dog, to monkey, to man has sentience.

In this era, it’s not hard to go to a supermarket and get anything you need, all year round.  I live in a part of the USA where there are few natural disasters.   Veganism and Vegetarianism is a vote for the environment, for animal rights, and reverses many diseases.  Only in this country is it easier to get restaurant food with animal foods in it than without.  I’ve decided to stop going to restaurants, unless its for a slice of pizza or vegetarian sushi.

I think kosher vegetarianism is the most sane way to go as far as diet.  Dairy is very nourishing, in some cases too nourishing, and fish and eggs should be an option for people who don’t have the time or inclination to prepare their own food.  The main thing is to eat what’s available and not obsess about diet.  But in this crazy society, even the nutrition textbooks are wrong, let alone the media and public perception.

At the end of the day, gaining or losing weight is about calories in and calories out.  But also at the end of the day, looks and weight don’t matter so much.  You don’t need the body of a bodybuilder to be healthy.  And a six pack of abs means nothing.  Judge your health by how you feel, how long you live, and the state of health you’re in.

As an aside, remember that years upon years of weight fluctuation on the atkins/paleo/ketogenic diet causes insulin resistance and liver derangement.  A doctor can’t invent a crash diet that violates everything we know about nutrition and get away with it.  Bodybuilders and boxers use the low carb approach before contest because it causes a rapid decrease in water weight.  Don’t think the atkins diet is a lifelong diet.  No one in Asia, Africa, or South America is adhering to this philosophy, because they have no obesity problem.  They eat a lot of fiber and walk a lot.

 

The Controversy of Gender

It says in the bible in two parts in the early part of Genesis, ‘male and female he created them, in God’s image.’  It also says, ‘that is why a man must leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, so they become one flesh.’

So there you have it.  The meaning of life in a nutshell.

What is the meaning of truth, God, and life?  Lovingkindness.  Every Christian knows, God is Love.  Love should not be confused with sex or sexual activity, you can love baseball but not make love to it.  Desire drives the cosmos.  God is the desire to be.

God is both your mother and father in heaven, and the crux of life is for a man to find a woman and procreate.  In this era, sex, gender, identity, and the moral order are all in a flux.  The ordinary people seem confused and angry.

Homosexuality and transgenderism is on the rise in the West.  Gender roles are being blurred.  These are evil omens.

One should know that sex is merely the transfer of genetic information, from giver to receiver, and the only two genders are male and female.  Gender is determined by genetics, and every human egg begins with the X chromosome.  If at some point you acquire a Y chromosome, then you are born male.

Homosexuality and transgenderism isn’t inherently bad.  According to most spiritual traditions of the East, adultery and group sex is the only fornication.  And in this day and age, there is no concept of fornication.  Anything goes.

But spiritual people know that the conservation of essence, sperm, or jing preserves youth and vital power, and the reckless expenditure of it leads to early old age and death.  There is no moral reasoning in Tao, it’s not a religion.  You can worship the Gods but you cannot worship the Tao.

The way to stay healthy and young for a man is to moderate how many ejaculations he has and have more sex, and the way for a woman is to choose good partners.  This is not folk mythology, it turns out the Ancient Chinese were right!

In Egyptian myth, Osiris was a hermaphrodite male who was the descendent of the Sun God.  In India, Manu was the original Man who possessed the divine within.  And according to the bible, Adam was male and female, created in God’s image.  Eve was later formed out of his rib.  And according to native american lore, the androgyn male is the ideal shaman (medicine man).

You may ask, what does religion and mythology have to do with sex and gender?  Well, myth and religion is merely a perspective on reality, and everybody knows for themselves how strong the urge to procreate is.

The meaning of life is joy, and the only joy in life is to be loved.  End of story.

Who Wants to Live Forever?

Not many people are really interested in longevity and the possibility of immortality.  Benjamin Franklin said, ‘nine in ten men are suicides.’  That means, most people bring about their own destruction without even knowing it.

But there is that one in a hundred or so that really wants to live, and not just for hedonistic pleasure.  They want to live because strength and longevity is also virtue, and there is joy with strength and longevity.  We don’t simply live to eat and procreate.

There are few who like to constantly make progress and also learn about the world around them.  Getting to know Creation is the best way to know the Creator.  And you’ll never know it all.

The ancient Chinese said, ‘longevity is merit.’  The longer you survive under the sun, the more worthy you are.  To really be immortal, you have to put aside the mundane things of the world.  To live forever, you have to be worthy of living forever.

The secular, capitalistic, ordinary world is very depressing.  Even celebrities commit suicide because they feel life is empty.  The spirit is bigger than the body, and the higher life of a seeker is more fulfilling.  Of course, as a human being, one needs food and sex to live and be healthy.  A spiritual man aims to fulfill his gross biological needs in a loftier way than the crass worldly man.

In the Baghavad Gita it says, ‘each one becomes a slave to his own activity, if you want to be truly free, perform all acts as worship.’  This means we are all stuck in the same condition.  If you really want to live happily and for a long time, do your mundane earthly activities with spirit and zeal and selflessness.

 

Putting Myself Out There

Besides my training and education in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and study of nutrition, I’ve also practiced martial arts and yoga all my life.  I’ve been doing grappling of some kind since 1998, and yoga since 2000.

I started my grappling training in the japanese martial art Shootfighting, which is similar to professional wrestling but practiced as a real sport.  It is the original MMA.  It involves punching, kicking, throwing, and grappling.  In late 2004, I began practicing judo, which is also a japanese martial art.  I’ve been practicing ever since, all though in recent years, my attendance policy has been somewhat inconsistent I must say.

During the first six months of 2008, I trained freestyle, sport, and Combat SAMBO and that was the best experience I’ve had in the martial arts.  It was a lot of fun to learn new things and excel at something.

In all my martial arts experiences, I learned the importance of conditioning, flexibility, fighting spirit, the will to win, ethics, attitude, and sportsmanship.  By now, I am an exercise physiologist, I’m not a novice.

I feel I should be teaching martial art and yoga by now, although this by no means that I am all-knowing and invincible.  I feel belt rank is an erroneous concept and so is the concept of self defense without weapons.  All good martial arts are physical education, and I am qualified to teach sport education.

So what I am trying to say is, I am available to teach lessons in the long island/queens area, and I will share my email so anyone who has questions can contact me if they feel.

I have a lot to teach, including matwork, aikido, yoga and flexibility, and even nutrition counseling.  I’m only here to do a good job and to get paid doing it.  My rates are negotiable based on your economic situation, but please feel free to contact via email (I will add my phone number next post).

I prefer to work with the younger crowd, like young adults in their 20’s and 30’s, or those who already are grapplers who want some extra training to round out their game.  I hope someone out there sees my value and contacts me, even if it’s only for advice.  Thanks.

By the way, the photo above is for illustration purposes only, that is not me in the picture.  I’m male, 38 years old, and I live on long island, new york.  To contact me, my email address is lavni90@gmail.com…thanks again.

My View on The Martial Arts

To begin with, I am just analyzing the relative merit of martial arts as physical education.  I’m not talking style vs style.

Right off the bat, I think karate is great for the youth.  It not only teaches them how to punch and kick really hard, but teaches them how to stand up for themselves, believe in themselves, and never quit.  These are all valuable qualities in life.

There is a lot of good karate out there but there is also a lot of fake karate out there.  Remember what Mas Oyama once said, ‘without sparring, karate is essentially a kind of gymnastics.’

I don’t think MMA is good for people, young people in general.  It teaches them all of the bad qualities of man and none of the good.  I would go further, but I won’t, because I know people who train and teach MMA.

Aikido is a special martial art.  It is ideally suited to physical education, and it teaches defensive principles.  Aikido is essentially a stylized version of weapons grappling, wrestling with weapons.  It is useful for police and military, and for people who aren’t fast and aggressive enough for karate, kickboxing, and MMA.

Also, weapons martial arts like Kali and Escrima are very good.  These are the best for military training.

Whether you do karate, MMA, aikido, judo, or weapons training doesn’t matter, as long as you learn the principle of self control and self restraint.  In the end, karate and hatha yoga has the same end, more mastery over the self.

But in the west, hatha yoga is seen as being for girls, since they are more flexible and peaceful to begin with.  Martial arts training is the un-learning of violence, not the fostering of more violence and aggression and ego.

Once you can do the technique with skill and grace and effortlessness, then you are the expert.  Sports are about winning and losing, but in objective reality, there is only the living and the dead.  And it’s always preferable to be alive than to be dead.

Martial Exercise and Physical Culture

My blog is a blog about fitness and Taoist nutrition.  I’m getting to the point where I am tired of talking about protein and vegetables and I must resume exercising in order to really be in condition.

Tai Chi, it’s relative Qi Gong, Aikido and Yoga are all great physical arts for improving fitness, health, flexibility, and longevity.  There are harder martial arts out there for you to do, but they involve sparring and competition and getting knocked down.  Soft martial arts and yoga is the way to increase the circulation of blood and qi (breath/energy).

Dieting is not enough.  If you ate a perfect diet but didn’t exercise at all, you would be normal bodyweight but wouldn’t be fit.  And that’s not the way to be.  If you are physically active, not only do you get other health benefits from working out, but your metabolism gets faster and you burn off impurities in your diet with more efficiency.  Exercising a lot makes up for not eating perfect all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, dieting is the best way to lose weight, but there comes a point where you must start incorporating exercise into your routine.  I read in a book on conditioning for judo that the best exercise equipment you can use is a partner.  Working out in groups is a lot more fun than working out by yourself, and hence the fitness industry is doing well for itself.

That’s all I got to say for now about exercise, besides I need to exercise also.  And I’m at the point where student has become the master and I should be a teacher of martial art and sport culture, but this means an investment of every evening and weekend for a long, long time.  And that is a big commitment.