Tai Chi / Qi Gong
There is a saying in China that ‘flowing water doesn’t stagnate.’ The gentle flowing movements of Tai Chi and Qigong are designed to flow qi – which translates as ‘life energy’ – throughout the body to prevent disease and to ease and overcome existing ailments.
Tai chi and Qigong are ancient Chinese exercises that date back over 2,500 years. They are two of the most studied exercises in the world. Medical research (which you can view online on Pub Med) describes over 160 health benefits – these include improved immune function, lower blood pressure, improved bone density and cardiovascular health, better balance and improved mood and well-being.
Qigong’s easy fluid exercises are considered internal exercises because they massage the internal organs (digestion, reproductive, lungs and brain) and promote a sense of calm and well-being. The US military currently has 50 Qigong programs to help soldiers and veterans suffering from PTSD and depression.
Beginners and intermediate students learn the classic Yang style Tai Chi short-form, a sequence which takes 5-10 minutes to perform. Advanced students learn the Yang style Tai Chi long-form (15 minutes). Qigong is practiced in the first half of the group class to warm up the body, relax the mind and get energy flowing. Then the focus is on learning the Tai Chi steps. In private classes students can specialize in either practice.
Tai chi and Qigong are suitable for students of all ages and abilities. Loose comfortable clothing and gym shoes are recommended.