Tai Chi

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What Is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is a multimodal mind-body exercise integrating gracefulness, mindfulness, and gentleness, is a form of traditional Chinese exercise. It involves physical activity, cognitive control, and social interaction when practiced in a group, such as in our semi-private studio.

Tai Chi combines the focus on deep breathing techniques, synchronized and rhythmic movements, coordination of slow movements with mental focus, specific postures, and meditation to induce relaxation to help with fatigue, psychological and physical stress.

More Information on Tai Chi

The practice of Tai Ci has a long history and tradition in ancient China. Recently the interest and practice of Tai Chi have surged in the United States and other Western nations. This surge is the result of medical research studies that have connected the practice of Tai Chi with significant health benefits.

Published medical studies have shown that practicing this adaptation of Sun Style Tai Chi brings pain relief, improves balance and significantly reduces falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among many other health organizations, recommend our classes, Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention, and Gentle Tai Chi to mitigate the effects and Arthritis, improve balance and prevent falls.

The movements are effective in strengthening major muscle groups to address arthritic and other conditions.  The degree of exertion can be easily adjusted making the classes suitable for people of all levels of ability.

What are the Benefits of Tai Chi?

The benefits of practicing Tai Chi have been reported in cognitive performance and motor functions, such as postural control, fall prevention, muscle strength, and agility.

It is a low impact exercise routine that works the entire body. Movements include forward and backward of human body, the rise and fall of one’s centre of gravity, the static and dynamic of one’s whole body and part, the opening and closing of chest, shoulder, elbow, hands, hip, knee and feet, the lengthen and bending of the spine.

Many local physicians are encouraging their patients to take Tai Chi classes.  Health benefits resulting from the practice of tai chi include:

  • Increased flexibility, muscle strength, and fitness
  • Less stress and more relaxation
  • Improved immunity
  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Better body posture
  • Integration of both mind and spirit
  • Improved flow of life energy

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Frequently Asked Questions about our Tai Chi classes:

  • Tai Chi is a Martial Art and is a basic defense program for staying on your feet during duress. This is why it’s so good for people with balance, standing, walking, and generally moving around in space. 
  • Tai Chi is made up of a group of movements that move you from one place to another in a very deliberate, focused way. 
  • Tai Chi is often referred to as moving meditation. As it is internalized you can clear your mind and let go. 
  • In the first class you will mainly be instructed in the ‘warm ups’ these are important exercises that incorporate Tai Chi and Qigong movements. These movements are precursors to the movements of the first level Tai Chi form. 
  • The movements are stretching and moving each part of the frame. More importantly, they prepare the body to transfer weight safely from both, to either leg and back. 
  • The warm ups are an integral part of the session and will normally take at least half the first session and less as the student learns and internalizes them. 

This is a list of the warmups:

  • The greeting
  • Wuji stance
  • Moving hands through water


  • Pressing the face back – face pushes back
  • Beautiful mirror- Following the palm


  • Tiny circles 
  • Building Qi 


  • Lifting the sky
  • Dividing heaven and earth
  • Tan Tien échange at the hip


  • Legs forward hands back (weight shift)
  • Phone box (weight shift)


  • Building to a lunge and punch 
  • Toe tap with punch 
  • Heal tap with punch 
  • Heal toe weight shift and punch

Ankle with tan tien

  • Heal toe tap
  • Side – inside foot rotation 

There are other qigong movements that I’ll introduce as we go along:

  • Movements in the first form 
  • Commencement 
  • Open close 
  • Single whip
  • Wave hands in clouds 
  • Brush knee push 
  • Lute player
  • Parry, parry punch
  • Push
  • Block
  • Push and carry the tiger to the mountain 

All these movements are replicated on the other side except for commencement