New to Tai Chi?
You’ll love it! Whether you’re just wanting to enjoy a weekly social gathering to enhance your health or seeking to improve your physique and your immunity or want to use it to build your inner strength, cope better with stress, gain more confidence… the list goes on. For all, including those intent on mastering one of the most renowned health arts, it will not disappoint you.
Tai Chi is a continuous series of slow and progressive movements (called the “form”).
You use your feet alternately as you move your weight to release them and step (ultimately glide!) through the moves, with your arms and hands taking shape and moving in unison with your body.
Each movement sends energy almost imperceptibly through your body and into your shaped hands, leaving you feeling more alive, toned and refreshed.
Our Tai Chi
Of the various authentic Tai Chi forms from China (and others that aren’t!) ours, the Yang health form, is widely respected both for its dynasty and its appropriateness in modern life. Its origins are in the more complex “old” Yang form which had been guarded jealously for generations until the Yang family made it more openly available in the 1920’s.
The Yang health form has less contortions than the old form but is certainly not “watered down”. It’s exhilarating even at the early stages but is also calming and progressively challenging, making you learn to focus on unifying your mind and body.
As you learn move by move the form takes you into gentle stretching and balancing postures, comparable to the invisibly powerful punches and kicks of Tai Chi combat forms and traditional Kung Fu, (hence Tai Chi's reputation as an "internal" martial art).
What we teach with Tai Chi
You will gradually learn each of the following to augment the Tai Chi form:
- Pushing hands
- initially to enhance posture and strengthen the use of feet and legs but it isn’t long before difficult situations in daily life can be overcome more easily by applying the thought processes!
- Chi Kung breathing
- which can be very calming and therapeutic in itself but these gentle techniques also become an integral part of you, unconsciously applied in your daily Tai Chi and coming to your aid in everyday situations.
- Chi Circulation
- but not until you are sufficiently proficient at Tai Chi and Chi Kung. At that stage your limbs are strengthened and flexible enough for these techniques to raise your energy and help you to gain greater insight to the principles of “moving from within” as you advance.
- Focus, calming and meditation
- From the beginning we teach a simple and effective additional way to work with the life force traditionally referred to as “Chi”. It’s a traditional technique requiring both relaxation and focus – which can be frustratingly difficult but well worth achieving. Eventually, like all other techniques learnt with Tai Chi, it becomes an integral part of you and gives you that edge in your life when you might otherwise falter or do something foolish. At a later stage you’ll be ready to add to those principles and will be introduced to spiritually advancing meditation practices.
- Taoist Massage
- which is always popular as an excellent way to ease away the stresses of life in the 21st Century! After a few weeks we’ll start introducing these simple well proven techniques, using the warmth of some of that “Chi” in your hands to ease your own aches and anxieties.
Higher Tai Chi levels, with fans and swords
These go together well!
Many people eventually decide that they want to go beyond the basics of Tai Chi and we are always pleased when they do.
We teach advanced Tai Chi accompanied by single and double fan forms, traditional Tai Chi long sword and broad sword forms.
In our experience, learning advanced internal and external Tai Chi is when life notches up a few levels!
Not sure you’re fit enough?
Doctors and other health professionals often recommend Tai Chi nowadays, knowing that it isn’t too strenuous and can aid recovery from illnesses and injuries.
As long as you’re reasonably steady on your feet you’ll have little difficulty and will soon notice pleasing benefits from daily practice.
Obviously, if you have a serious medical or physical condition it’s wise to check before starting and we will want to be briefed about any precautions you are advised to take.
Contact us if you’re concerned - we’ll be happy to help.