What is Tai Chi?
From the Traditional Chinese Arts, Tai Chi is a non-impact, relaxing and gentle moving exercise that promotes balance and strength with improvements in breathing and posture.
What are the benefits of Tai Chi? Why would I do it?
The list of benefits of Tai Chi is endless so here are my personal favourites:
- Tai Chi can be done anywhere, anytime. This means it can easily be incorporated into our everyday life. Anytime we find ourselves standing, sitting or lying down, we can do Tai Chi. Before falling asleep at night or getting out of bed in the morning; driving your car; seated at the table for a meal or at or beside our desk for a break; brushing our teeth or cooking in the kitchen; while we wait in line at the grocery store. All throughout our day there are opportunities for us to do our Tai Chi.
- Tai Chi is a way to exercise ALL our bodies. While we are here on this earth, we exist in there different bodies: our physical body, our mental and emotional body and our spiritual body. When we practice Tai Chi, we exercise all three bodies at once. Some of us may be interested in Tai Chi purely for physical health and some of us, only for relaxation and better mental and emotional health – whatever our primary reason for doing Tai Chi is, all three of our bodies get a workout without us realising it. It’s simply the nature and essence of how Tai Chi works.
- Moving with Tai Chi is a self-empowering and self-strengthening practice. The more we do Tai Chi, the more we take care of ourselves.
How long is each class?
Each class is one hour in duration. The weekly classes are offered in seasonal sessions – Fall, Winter and Spring with each session typically running for 8-10 weeks.
How are the classes structured?
During each class we begin and close with the Wu Chi Stance, the Standing Meditation. At first the introduction to the meditation is brief and with each successive class we attend to different aspects that allow us to go deeper into the meditation. For the remainder fo the class we move through foundation movements, postures and positions that nurture our breathing, relaxation, strengthening and grounding. Every week we review what we moved through the week before with an emphasis on repetition so that the body becomes comfortable and can therefore relax even more with each passing week.
I’m not sure that I want to commit to a class for 8 or 10 weeks. Can I come for a trial or drop-in class?
Because of the long-term nature of learning Tai Chi, Qi Tai Chi does not offer a trial or drop-in class option.
As with anything new, when the Wu Chi Stance (the Standing Meditation) and some postures and positions are introduced, at first it is common that some awkwardness and discomfort is felt. It is these very discomforts that bring our awareness to parts of our body that need our healing attention – but when was the last time that we stood in quiet and stillness to listen to what our bodies might have to tell us? Usually by the third class, enough repetition has taken place for the students to feel more comfortable and therefore more relaxed. By the sixth or seventh class, the students have a good taste of what Tai Chi is about and are able to make an informed decision if Tai Chi is for them. Often Tai Chi is associated with the idea of ‘instant nirvana and complete relaxation’ and mistakenly thought to ‘not work’ when only one class is attended.
For some people, the question lies not with committing to the Tai Chi class but with committing to be with the instructor for the entire season. Completely understandable. I strongly encourage you to get in touch with me and interview me – you can decide if you want to give me the opportunity of being your Tai Chi instructor. I am more than happy to answer any questions.
How many people are in the class?
The classes are kept small – ideally 10 students, 12 at the most depending on the number of returning students there are in the group. This way I am able to get familiar with the bodies in front of me and can provide individual attention and guidance as needed. I feel a dedicated responsibility to make each session the most it can be for each individual student that commits to a full seasonal session. Another reason why the classes are not open for trial or drop-in.
Where are the classes held?
Qi Tai Chi’s classes are conducted at Front Street Dance, 612 Front Street, Nelson. It is a ground level studio (no stairs!) with free private parking (no meters!)
Need help with something else?
If you have a different question, please drop me an email or feel free to call me at 250-551-0866. I am more than happy to answer any questions you have.