What is Tai Chi?

Oh, so hard to define, because it means so many different things to different people. It could be described as a method of learning how to generate the most amount of power with the least amount of effort. It could be described as Meditation in Motion (or " medication in motion" according to the Harvard Medical School), with all the benefits of quieting the nervous system.

 

Maybe tai chi is self defense against multiple opponents from different directions done in slow motion? Or part of the Chinese system of health care? How about an art form that integrates mind, body and spirit? An exercise that teaches postural alignment, balance, physical control and whole-body coordination? A way to stimulate the brain through neuroplasticity and neurogenesis (a fancy way of saying strengthening brain function)? A daily health maintenance routine? The physical manifestation of Taoism? A profound stress reducer? All of the above? Ask any tai chi practitioner, and you will probably get many more answers.

 

Learning tai chi is like learning any art, with the satisfaction coming from the effort and reward of consistent practice and steady progression. It is a very personal practice which can be done by anyone, in any physical condition. Students can customize their tai chi practice to be very gentle (even seated), extremely vigorous, or anything in between. Attention to the body, the breath, and the mind, along with a healthy curiosity and a sense of humor, are the only requirements for learning.

 

Qi (chi, ki) means "energy". Gong (qung, kung) means "work", so QiGong is anything that works the energy of the body. Tai chi falls under the broad umbrella of qigong and offers the same benefits. I teach primarily tai chi, with other qigong (and some occasional kung-fu) mixed in.

Intrigued? Consider attending one of my free Introduction to Tai Chi sessions, listed on the Special Events page. And feel free to contact me with any questions.

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