Married to Stress or Just Engaged?

Married to Stress or Just Engaged?

Are you married to stress or just engaged?

By Stan Cohen


Are you one of those people who don’t quite “get it” when someone uses the term “relax” in reference to muscles and joints?

Think of it using this term instead: “disengage” I have found recently that some students who have been in class for a while are still holding too much stress and corresponding tension in their joints and muscles.

As much as I tell them they need to relax and soften up the arms, hands, shoulders, hips, thighs, knees and so on they seem to keep on keeping on with the same tension.

They appeared to be married to their stress and tension for better or for worse.  I found out that they were not married to it, they were only engaged and did not realize it.

So, I used the term disengage with a few and voila!  It was magical for them.

Think of these two truths (according to Stan)

  • Movement is learning to disengage certain muscle groups and engage others in a coordinated and fluid method.
  • Relaxing is learning to connect to the mental and physical parts of yourself that are actively engaged in stress and disengage them.If you are a high stress personality, work in a high stress situation or just want to relax, this form of movement and exercise may be prime for you and extremely beneficial to your overall health.

Body Mind Programs such as Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga include this form of training as one of the core aspects of their gentle, controlled fluid movement.

For more info on Stan’s Programs

Contact Stan Cohen via email: or via phone: 908.857.0271

Mailing address: PO Box 182, Port Murray, NJ  07865





Married to Stress or Just Engaged?

Feeling Safe

Stan Cohen

Stan Cohen

I’m Stan Cohen, founder of ChiForLiving.  Most folks think I am a Tai Chi instructor. I view myself more as a guide. The path I teach is rooted in Tai Chi however it flows into movement for everyday living which my students seems to grasp and enjoy.





Feeling Safe

The last few weeks have been very eye opening for me.

As an instructor, sensei, teacher, guide or whatever folks choose to call me, I always have the same approach in classes.

My focus has been on helping the participants improve their balance and movement capabilities.  Little did I know that there was a level of balance that I was soon to be made aware of.

Like I mentioned in many other posts, the benefits of Tai Chi for aging are widely known and the awareness of it is ever growing.  I teach my own version of this art form, which I have been refining over the years and really making it my own.

What I have found recently in feedback from a few women is that there is something else, unrelated to balance, but directly related to safety that they get from my classes.

It seems that a few of the women, all from different classes that I teach have come from a history of abuse. In speaking with them, the overall effect from the slow movement, internalizing the principals and applying them has helped them regain part of the life that was lost in the abuse.  Some of what they found were:

  • Control over their movement
  • Confidence in their capabilities
  • Awareness of their bodies as an integrated unit
  • Appreciation of themselves (pride & self worth)
  • And a few other aspects of personal  growth

And these are not young women.  These are women 60 and above who are finding great relief which is an benefit I would never have guessed at. I can only assume that women of all ages with a similar background would find similar effects.

On the upside for me,  they also say the way I teach is also directly related to the feeling of safety, of being welcomed and being cared for that has helped them find themselves through this form of movement exercise.

Like I tell my students,  what I teach is a whole person fitness modality. It seems for these women it helped redevelop a mental and physical connection that has long been needed.

For me, I am thrilled that I am able to help with healing on this level!


Stan Cohen – Founder


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Programs and information for Independent Living

The Fallacy of the I Can’t

The Fallacy of the I Can’t

I am very excited to introduce Stan Cohen. He is passionate about your wellbeing and has agreed to be a regular contributor to my blog.  His first article is a favorite topic of mine the Fallacy of the ‘I can’t’. Welcome Stan and thank you!

Stan Cohen

Stan Cohen is the founder and creative mind behind ChiForLiving™.

Developed as an intuitive teaching/learning style, ChiForLiving™ is geared for seniors, aging boomers and those with disabilities. Practitioners develop their balance, increase their range of motion, build leg and core strength to create a stronger foundation to support daily activities.

Stan says “There are no age boundaries for my program; however it works especially well for those over 55 who have lost touch with movement and need to exercise to improve their quality of life. No matter whom I teach, or show my methods, it thrills me knowing I am helping make a positive change in their lives”.

Since 2007, working with seniors ranging from those with Alzheimer’s to fully active seniors has helped me tune the movements and learn how to teach ChiForLiving™ to any group, based on their needs, abilities and expectations.

The fallacy of the “I can’t” and “I will never be able to” view of exercise

One thing I have found to be true after working with hundreds of people over the last few years is that everyone can do more than they think they can.

This holds true for people of all ages and all fitness levels.

Keep in mind that this is my observation as a teacher. From a student, or practitioner perspective it is often quite different. At least when I first start working with many of the older senior or someone with a disability.

Many time I show a movement or exercise to someone and the first time they see it their reaction is negative, immediately deferring to the vision they see of themselves, as someone who can’t do a certain thing.  They let their age,  condition or self value make the determination without trying to see what the reality is.

As an example, I am working with a group of senior women from a 55 and over community in Belvidere, NJ, teaching them balance exercises, some Tai Chi and Qigong.   Three weeks ago we started on their first exposure to a Qigong form.  I told them they would learn the basics enough to follow along fairly quickly.  They all laughed and said, give us a year.  I said no, really.  And at least 1/2 of them said,  NO, REALLY.

Talking with this about them most said:

  • Our memory is not that good
  • Our balance is bad
  • We are not coordinated
  • and a host of other excuses

Well, today, yes, three weeks later we went through 90% of the first section, not once but 5 times.  And with each time through more of them were catching on enough to follow along in close to the correct positions.

This is the same group who three weeks ago told me they could not stand for an hour. Here they were today not only standing, but moving, rotating and doing knee raise balance stances 45 minutes into class.

I see similar results working with seniors who are chair bound, arthritic, stroke victims and others  who see exercise as something beyond them.  Once they start and work a program and exercises designed for their capabilities they quickly see then can do more than they think.

For more information on Stan’s programs

Contact Stan Cohen via email: or via phone: 908.857.0271

Mailing address: PO Box 182, Port Murray, NJ  07865

Chi For Living





Stan Cohen
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