Tips from Harvard Health Publications on how to keep you mind sharp

To stay at the top of your game, stay on top of your health
A healthy mind relies on a healthy body. Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, excess weight, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to cognitive declines. Working to stay healthy helps you stay sharp.
Stop smoking. In 2010, a National Institutes of Health panel noted that current smokers were 41% more likely to exhibit cognitive declines than former smokers or nonsmokers.
Challenge your mind. Engaging in challenging board games, reading, working crossword puzzles, playing a musical instrument, and acquiring new skills may help keep your mind fit. These activities seem to expand the web of neuronal connections in the brain and help keep neurons nimble and alive.
Challenge your body. Brain cells crave a steady diet of oxygen. Physically active people lower their risk for developing dementia and are more likely to stay mentally active.
Get your rest. Too little sleep can affect memory. Six hours may be the minimum needed, although researchers testing college students found those who had eight hours were better able to learn new skills.
Watch your weight. Staying within a normal weight range lowers your risk for illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and stroke, which can compromise the brain to varying degrees.
Check with your doctor. Are there any factors — such as medication side effects, vitamin deficiencies, depression, or chronic conditions — that could be better managed to help you stay as mentally sharp as possible? Discuss these issues with your doctor.

An article by Sifu Paul Adbella

by Paul Abdella
The sun rises slowly over the horizon, moving
steadily toward its zenith at solar noon and then
descends in the western sky to complete a cycle of
light at sunset. The onset of darkness brings forth
the moon in one of its nine phases only to recede as
the sun begins its illuminating arc for yet another
period of daylight. This circadian rhythm repeats
until we transition through the seasons only to return and begin again a year older and hopefully
As night falls, our brain waves diminish from alpha
waves to the dreamlike theta waves. They descend
to their lowest point during deep sleep, then elevate
during the REM sleep that follows until resuming
the full electrical charge of the beta state upon
awakening, when the brain is at high alert around
midmorning. The heart beats a steady cadence some
2 billion times in an average life and is mirrored by
the expanding and contracting pulse of the breath –
our most important source of energy.
Life as we know it is based on rhythm. Our world is
a symphony of rhythms produced in nature, the universe, and our selves. We can set our own rhythms
in an attempt to control nature and each other,
sometimes with negative results, as modern life has
lost much of its attunement to the natural cycles.
The practice of T’ai Chi Ch’uan can return us to the
natural cycles within us. The gentle and natural
rhythm of the form with its expanding and contracting nature, slow, deep breathing and hypnotic repetition of postures overcome the stresses and offrhythm nature of a life that is driven by mechanical
time. As practitioners, it is important to continually
refine our movements through repetition and the
attention to detail that brings about this return to the
natural rhythm and vitality within us. The best time
to practice is to practice at the same time every day.
Let this time become the foundation for your daily
schedule and you will establish the rhythm of your
day rather than letting external events dictate the
rhythm you have to follow.
Let T’ai Chi serve your purpose and not contribute
to your stress. If you don’t have time one day for a
complete practice, do the short form, a section or
two of the long form or even a few postures during
your practice time. T’ai Chi done with intention and
rhythm will bring us into balance and deepen our
enjoyment of life.

RIP Robert W. Smith

On July 1st Robert W. Smith a legendary practitioner, teacher and author of Chinese internal martial arts passed away. Below is a link to an article about him a few years ago. It is still pertinent today.