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Yin Yang

Welcome Tai Chi Yang Style 24 Form, Students! 

Practicing Tai Chi is a gift to yourself of physical benefits, stress reduction, and fun!
 

  • Perfection is not the goal!

  • The underlying 8 principles hold the key to the benefits. 

  • Tai Chi is accessible and approachable for everyone. The movements can be modified. There should be no discomfort to Tai chi. If there is, tell the instructor right away for an alternate extra step or position. 

  • Tai Chi is a piece of the fitness puzzle: Tai chi + Core Training + Cardio. Discuss all exercise programs with your doctor (they will advise any needed restrictions for you, and will most likely be very supportive of your efforts.  :-) 

Recommended: 

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi: 12 Weeks to a Healthy Body, Strong Heart, and Sharp Mind (Harvard Health Publications)
by Peter Wayne and Mark L. Fuerst  | Apr 9, 2013

1. Yang Style 24 Short Form: Beginner, The Circuit of Training

Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that is often practiced for its health benefits. It is a form of exercise that combines slow, graceful movements with deep breathing and relaxation techniques.

What you will learn about and practice in the Tai chi in-person introductory classes...

The Eight Principles of Tai chi

 Principle 1: Columns

 Principle 2: Rotation

 Principle 3: Balance                                                                                     

 Principle 4: Rooted

 Principle 5: Ball of Energy

 Principle 6: Martial Arts

 Principle 7: Relaxation Connection

 Principle 8: Breathing

The Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi

  1. Awareness: This ingredient is essential in order to fully develop all the others. It begins as self-awareness. Paying attention to your breathing and the sensations in your body as you practice the slow, graceful movements of tai chi helps you become more focused.

  2. Intention: Through visualization, imagery, and other cognitive tools used in tai chi, you alter your intentions, beliefs, and expectations. This has real-world effects.

  3. Structural integration: Tai chi looks at the body as an interconnected system, not as a collection of individual parts. As a result, when practicing tai chi, you won’t do one exercise for your biceps and another for your glutes.

  4. Active relaxation: Tai chi is often described as "meditation in motion" because it promotes serenity through gentle movements — connecting the mind and body.

  5. Aerobic exercise: Tai chi is a low-impact form of exercise that can improve cardiovascular fitness.

  6. Musculoskeletal strengthening: Tai chi can improve muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.

  7. Natural, free breathing: Tai chi places emphasis on deep, natural breathing which can improve lung function.

  8. Social interaction and community: Practicing tai chi in a group setting can provide social support and a sense of community.

Qi (also known as chi) is a fundamental concept in Chinese philosophy and culture. In English, qi is usually translated as “vital life force,” but qi goes beyond that simple translation. According to Classical Chinese Philosophy, qi is the force that makes up and binds together all things in the universe. It is paradoxically both everything and nothing.

The Circuit - Start Any Week, rotate through the circuit multiple times to learn basic movements, gain muscle memory, and progress to the full form.  Every week is a review and a chance to learn something new. It's okay to miss a week! You can pick up the class the following week...do not stress! Learning tai chi is a process.

1. Hold the Ball (energy), Chi Walking (test the ice), Pushing Chi, Brush Knee, Ward Off

2. Wave Hands Like Clouds, Snake Creeps - Pheasant Stands, Single Whip

3. Repulse the Monkey, Kick-Smash-Box the Ears, Part the Wild Horse's Mane

4. Fair Lady Works the Shuttle, Pick the Needle Up from the Sea Bottom, Deflect-Intercept & Punch

Movements of the 24 Short Form

 

1.   Preparation: Opening Posture   

2.   Part the Wild Horse’s Mane x3

3.   White Crane Spreads Its Wings

4.   Brush Knee x3

5.   Play the Guitar (Lute, Pipa)

6.   Repulse the Monkey x4

7.   Ward Off Sequence Left

8.   Ward Off Sequence Right

9.   Single Whip

10. Wave Hands Like Clouds x3

11. Single Whip

12. High Pat on Horse

13. Kick (Right Heel), Smash

14. Box the Ears

15. Left Heel Kick

16. Snake Creeps, Pheasant Stands

17. Snake Creeps, Pheasant Stands

18 Fair Lady Works the Shuttle x2

19. Pick the Needle Up from the Sea Bottom

20. Block, Fan through the back

21. Deflect, Intercept (Parry) and Punch

22. Pushing Chi

23. Return the Tiger to the Mountain

24. Close

The 8 Tai Chi Breathing Descriptions
Slow - Uniform - Calm - Continuous - Soft - Slender - Deep - Long

360-degree breathing is composed of three parts:


1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: At the core of our breathing lies the diaphragm, a substantial muscle positioned at the base of the lungs. With every inhalation, this vital muscle undergoes a contracting and flattening process, causing the chest cavity to expand. As this unfolds, a vacuum effect is generated, drawing air into the lungs. During exhalation, the diaphragm eases back to its original form, guiding the expulsion of air from our lungs.


2. Rib Cage Expansion: When you take in a breath of air, you should see your chest expand (that is where your lungs are located, after all) and ribs move out to the side.


3. Back Body Expansion: This is the third part of the 360-breathing technique. By embracing this deep breathing approach, practitioners aspire to attain a heightened sense of bodily awareness, fostering a connection between mind, breath, and body. Its increasing popularity is underscored by its potential benefits, ranging from stress reduction and enhanced relaxation to better respiratory efficiency.
Thank you, Dr. Yang Jaing-Ming and Master Diane Bailey, 
 
Seated/Bench Tai Chi (some classes)
Seated Tai Chi is a modified form of traditional Tai Chi that is performed while seated in a chair. It incorporates the principles of traditional Tai Chi, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and gentle stretching, to promote physical and mental well-being.


This form of Tai Chi is designed for individuals who are unable to stand or prefer to exercise while seated. It includes slow, flowing movements and deep breathing techniques to promote relaxation, improve flexibility, and enhance overall well-being.


Seated Tai Chi is useful to continue your daily practice when space, location, and circumstances limit the ability to practice the full Yang Style 24 Form. In this class we practice seated Tai Chi to practice arm movements, breathing, and mindfulness to enhance our practice of traditional Yang Style 24 Form (balance and flow.)


The key to Tai Chi, whether seated or standing, is to maintain a relaxed body and mind, and to allow your energy (Qi) to flow freely through your body.

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