View Full Version : Tai Chi in harsh weather conditions

03-31-2005, 06:14 AM
Soraya wrote:Just my personal opinion, I practice outdoors at temperatures ranging from -10 to +35. When I can't practice when it is cold, hot or rainy, then I would probably never practice. I used to live in Germany and my teachers Chenxiaowang, Ying Jun and Jan practice 365 days/year outdoors at harsh temperatures in China
Is that 14 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit? Our temperatures go lower, such as to 0 degrees F (or -18 degrees C).

In any case, the idea of practicing outdoors appeals to me because I have done daily walks year-round. But in this case it sometimes takes 20 minutes to get warm, or sometimes the weather is so cold that I don't get warm at all.

How do you dress warmly enough (on your legs for example), how do you keep the full range of motion, and how do you warm up enough to prevent muscle pulls from cold muscles?

Thank you, Charlie

03-31-2005, 08:51 AM
nice topic;don't do the form "cold", always do 15 min.or so vigorous qigong warmups first before starting the form to get yourself used to the temperature of your environment,to get the blood circulating throughout the entire body and the breath going;
i have seen chinese wear gloves when they practice in cold weather so i think this is probably a good idea,you want as few comfort distractions as possible;try to keep your legs warm by wearing longjohns and concern yourself w/your "inner" range of motion when hampered by clothing.
Don't do static qigong for long in very cold weather,cut it short,do it inside.
at the risk of sounding like a broken c.d.(or your mama),try to avoid practicing in damp or windy areas

03-31-2005, 08:51 PM
Even I try to avoid damp and strongly windy areas. Dampness is worse because it will enter your lungs during deep breathing. Yes, you need thorough warmup of about 20 min to adjust to temperate. You need a shawl to protect your mouth, it warms up the air you're breathing and reduces dampness.

As to clothes, one tip would be a shawl around your mouth which does not inhibit you too much. Have you ever seen a shawl which can be winded and combined as a head cover? Skiers use to wear this. Also wear skiers' underwear made of silk or breathing synthetics esp. tailor-made for this group. It is thin and flexible, rests directly on your body, keeps extremely warn and absorbs sweat and leads it out through pores. It means that your body is warm but your skin can breathe and your underwear stays dry. Wear a skiing shirt which is not too thick and a ski anorak. Wear gloves too

03-31-2005, 09:03 PM
ski clothing,brilliant!!!!!

04-14-2005, 12:49 PM
After setting up a practice space in the basement over a rainy weekend, I noticed how much I missed the visual stimulation of actually being outdoors. The temperature down there can be very cool with an open window for fresh air in the winter, but the window only brings in a little of the outdoors.

So I started practicing on a porch facing the sun at sunset, and enjoyed the view of animals and neighbors passing by. (Note: the neighbor's daughters and their boyfriends don't know what to make of that man waving his arms around.)

Then I noticed that the weather has been nice outside at sunrise, without much wind. So for the past three days I have trained on the other side of the house, facing the sun again. There have been light frosts, so I bundled up. I found the temperature at freezing to be quite tolerable, provided I had some direct sunlight.

The clothing that worked was quite similar to hiking clothing. Covering the head, ears, and neck made a big difference for heat loss. A flexible synthetic jacket, worn on top of a sweater, behaved much like a sweatshirt. Soraya's suggestion about skiwear worked for the hands - really warm mittens helped a lot, being about equivalent to another layer of clothing.

This arrangement permitted me to add layers without actually needing to change clothing. Charlie

Dr. Paul Lam
04-14-2005, 04:52 PM
while outdoor is attractive and natural, i recommend beginners starting from indoor. choose a environment that is safe from obsticles, good lighting, good ventilation and safe to get to. Even for outdoor enthusiasts it would be important to have a indoor alternative so that you won't miss you practice when the weather is not friendly.

Conditions such as wind, rain, uneven ground, pot holes, slippery grass, hot cement, water, sand, heat and sun burn... can adversely affect the practitioner. That said, in a perfect condition, nothing beats outdoor in a tranquil, fresh and natural setting - like what we have chosen for our video.