More and more people are learning about the extraordinary health benefits of a meditative Tai Chi practice, but most don't know where to begin. As a Chinese martial arts studio, Shaolin-Do has always taught Tai Chi, but usually focused more on long series of movements and self-defense applications. These can seem overwhelming to someone who is just starting out. To address this, we've introduced a brand new, ongoing class called Tai Chi Foundations that we believe is the simplest way to start down the long and highly rewarding road of Tai Chi.
This weekly class is designed primarily for complete beginners, but is also a streamlined way for experienced practicioners to practice the meditative movements of Tai Chi without the overhead of learning new long forms. Tai Chi Foundations focuses on loosening the joints, releasing tension, guided meditations, breathing, chi kung (qigong), and short segments of Tai Chi movements that can be learned and practiced in a single class. This will provide all the basic building blocks of a Tai Chi practice. From here, if desired, students can move on to working through the expansive Shaolin-Do Tai Chi Chuan curriculum, either through private instruction, or periodic workshops.
How Does It Work?
Increasingly in life, we are more attuned to what we are thinking rather than the sensations that are occuring in our bodies or coming in through our senses. As a martial art, Tai Chi relies on being sensitive to what is happening in the present moment so that movement can be energy-efficient and perfectly timed. To this end, Tai Chi training has always revolved around relaxing the body and mind and becoming aware of the Now. Obviously, these practices don't only have to be applied to fighting, but can benefit your entire life! By training your sensitivity and awareness, you essentially learn to "listen" to the whispers of your body, telling you of tension you may be carrying or emotions you're pushing down, instead of only hearing the incessant roar of your thoughts. By becoming aware of these things, you can live a more honest and relaxed life and rely on the methods we teach to calm and quiet the mind in moments when you need it most.
Saturdays, 10-11am. Contact us to participate in a free trial class
You'll want to wear loose, comfortable clothes. We'll begin the class by learning the movements of whatever small piece of a Tai Chi form we'll be using that day. This could be "empty hand" or even with Tai Chi weapons like swords or fans. Next, we'll do specific movements to open and loosen all the joints of the body. We'll then do some chi kung to start getting the energy flowing. These are simple movements linked with breath. Next, we'll go through a guided meditation or body scan to start entering the rooted but meditative state necessary to truly practice Tai Chi. We'll use essential oil aromatherapy to help us achieve this peaceful state. Finally, we'll link the movements we've learned that day into our meditation and cycle through it so we can really get zoned into the feeling. You will be talked through every step of the way and questions or comments are highly encouraged so that you can feel as comfortable as possible. If you've already learned a Shaolin-Do Tai Chi form, you are more than welcome to practice it during the meditative movement section of the class.
Join us Saturdays, 10-11am, at Shaolin-Do in the Bywater to learn the practical uses of mindfulness in a modern world, based on the teachings of an ancient art.