November 20, 2007

Taijiquan Journal Writers and Artists Featured

Afaa Weaver, a long-time taijiquan student, poet, playwright, and professor of English is featured as the cover story in the November-December issue of the prestigious Poets & Writers magazine. Weaver is a disciple of Huang Chien Liang, grandmaster of the Tien Shan P'ai system, and has studied in Taiwan. He wrote an article "Taijiquan and Healthy Living: Tien Shan P'ai's Grandmsater Huang Chien-Liang Shares His Views" in the Winter 2004 issue of Taijiquan Journal. Recipient of an NEA fellowship, an MFA from Brown University, a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at National Taiwan University, and a Pew fellowship in Poetry, Weaver is now professor of English at Simmons College in Boston.

Creator of "The Yang and the Rootless," Taijiquan Journal's original (and probably the first ever) taijiquan comic strip , cartoonist, author, illustrator Jackie Urbanovic's children's book Duck at the Door hit the New York Times Children's Books Bestseller List. A sequel Duck Soup will be out in January.

Science writer Sandra Blakeslee's book The Body has a Mind of its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Most) Everything Better. The book, written with her son Matthew, explores the interesting areas of brain science--how the brain forms "body maps" and how those shape our perceptions and can change our lives. Blakeslee interviewed Taijiquan Journal editor Barbara Davis for background on methods such as taijiquan for improving body sense. Blakeslee's article "When the Brain Says 'Don't Get Too Close'" appeared in the Fall 2004 issue of Taijiquan Journal. She is a science writer for the New York Times with a special focus on the brain and how it works.

Back issues of Taijiquan Journal are still available! See our website for further information.

Books and Media Received

Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles by Oliver Chin, Illustrated by Charlene Chua, Immedium Books
Taiji & Shaolin Staff DVD by Yang Jwing-Ming, YMAA Publishing
The Martial Arts of Ancient Greece: Modern Fighting Techniques form the Age of Alexander, by Kostas Dervenis and Nektarios Lykiardopoulos, Destiny Books.
The Body has a Mind of its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Most) Everything Better, by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee, Random House.
The Taoist Soul Body: Harnessing the Power of Kan and Li, Mantak Chia, Destiny Books.

November 2, 2007

Taiji for the Heart Health and Stress Reduction

A recent article explaining the ins and outs of heart palpitations suggests lowering stress can help reduce them. "If you have unexplained palpitations, start with the simple things first: Try cutting back on caffeine, or giving it up altogether, to see if it is contributing to the problem. Stress and anxiety are two other key triggers of palpitations. A two-step approach can help here. Meditation, the relaxation response, exercise, yoga, tai chi, or other stress-busting activities may help keep palpitations away. If they do appear, breathing exercises or tensing and relaxing every muscle group in your body can ease the panic or anxiety spurred by palpitations that sometimes feeds into creating more of them." Read the whole article at the Buffalo News.