'What is Tai Chi?'

 

Tai Chi is a very powerful yet gentle method of combining slow physical exercises, breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation. For this reason it is often referred to as 'Meditation in Movement'. When practiced on a regular basis it can slow down the aging process and revitalise and restore a person's health and vitality, whilst promoting a sense of inner peace, tranquillity and well-being. At a deeper level it is a spiritual practice which connects the practitioner to the universal life force energy used for healing of both self and others.

 

The exercises are joined together into continuous movement and appear to the observer to be like a slow and beautiful flowing dance, soft and graceful in appearance, yet masking the internal power and strength that is generated within. In fact Tai Chi originated in China and began life as an internal or 'soft style' martial art using 'fa jing' or 'explosive energy' to repel the opponent. Although this martial aspect can still be taught to interested students, these days Tai Chi is known world-wide and mostly practiced for its many health benefits. Some of the areas where Tai Chi has been found to be helpful are: problems with falling or poor balance, high blood pressure, pain reduction, anxiety, bone health, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, schizophrenia, and depression. In recent years a large body of scientific research from America, Australia, China, Korea and many other countries, has emerged to support these claims. No ill effects have been identified from practicing Tai Chi.

Who can do Tai Chi?
Tai Chi requires no qualifications or special abilities to learn, no special clothing or equipment and it is suitable for older and younger people alike. Anyone with an interest in personal development and a willingness to learn can do it - even couch potatoes with stiff limbs or those with two left feet! The only pre-requisite necessary is perhaps an attitude of perseverance and patience, as the understanding of Tai Chi builds up slowly over a period of weeks and like the fermentation of a good wine or the brewing of a good cup of tea, this cannot be rushed.
Where can I learn Tai Chi?
Sifu Boz Odusanya. I have 30 years of experience of teaching Tai Chi and am a fifth generation student of the originators of both the Yang and Wu styles of Tai chi. I won two categories of the Great British Tai Chi Pushing Hands Championships in mid twenties, but am now focused on working with health as I am also an Acupuncturist, Tui Na Masseur and Occupational Therapist. I also offer high quality Personal Training on a one to one basis or in small groups of two or three people.

What you will learn in the classes?
The classes are structured to cover all of the fundamental things you need to know to do Tai Chi. These are the details – the Tai Chi Classics or foundations of breathing, posture and mental focus. Once equipped with this essential knowledge you will be able to perform any style of Tai Chi and feel the beautiful sensations much more fully. You will also learn one or more sets of movements known as the forms. To begin with I teach the 37 move Yang Short form and a set of powerful Qi Gong exercises known as Shabasi. We will also cover some exercises to loosen and relax the body prior to practice and some sitting meditations. In the personal training sessions this information is tailored to your needs and may also focus on specific health issues or areas of inquiry that are personal to you, enabling you to learn at your own pace. Both classes and personal training sessions focus on actual practice, learning by doing, with additional information and tutorials to support your learning freely available to all students on my website. To advanced students I teach Huang Sheng Shang's Quick Fist form, the Stick Form and the 108 movement Yang Long form, 28 push-hand patterns and developing the Fa Jing. If this is not enough I also teach several Qi Gong forms; The Eight Pieces of Brocade, The Silk Reeling exercises, and a set of exercises specific to assist in the healing of cancer, known as Bone Marrow Washing.



 

Article written By Lori Lood.
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