At Jordans Courtyard, two distinctly different tai chi classes are available. One is the classic martial arts-based ‘Tai Chi Chuan’ (pronounced tie-chee-choo-an) – suitable for those with a reasonable level of mobility and fitness. The other is the much older and easier Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) which is suited to those with more restricted mobility. Age is not a factor for either class.
Both these forms of exercise share a long Chinese heritage, and feature the same basic principles of breathing, posture and relaxing. They are both done standing, but the quigong can also be adapted for sitting where mobility is compromised. Both can achieve quite impressive health improvements in a great variety of conditions, including chronic problems, particularly for those who persevere and manage to do regular practice.
Tai Chi Chu’an
Participants in this class will be taught to breathe, relax and adopt good posture, while learning to perform a sequence of slow, controlled movements, which also involve a certain amount of stepping. We are not learning to fight, merely accessing the body dynamics and mental focus of combatants, whilst excluding the tensions and emotions of the need to win. In this way we can improve our balance and become fitter, stronger, more flexible, more confident. Because tai chi engages our body and mind so fully, we cannot help but leave the stresses of the world behind.
Class members will be taught to breathe, relax and adopt a good posture. They will also perform slow controlled movements, but the routines will be quite simple and not demanding, with little or no moving about. Attention to the movements, breathing etc can make us truly relax and produce a stress-free experience.
Wear normal, comfortable clothing. Shoes are a matter of personal preference. Some like trainers, some wear socks and the underfloor heating at Jordans Courtyard should allow comfortable barefoot tai chi. It can be a good idea to have a drink of water to hand. Anyone who needs to can sit out whenever required.
Either of these forms of exercise can be practised anywhere, anytime with no need for special equipment, clothes or special anything. This training with its emphasis on breathing/relaxation/posture, can achieve a way of being that can enhance your life, whatever difficulties have been thrown you way.
Teacher profile: Monica Murphy
Autumn 2018 sees the beginning of your tutors’s 13th year of training and practice in tai chi chuan and qigong and has been teaching for the past 7 years. Her teachers were Mrs Men X Bao and Mrs Z Reid of Bao’s Lung Fei Tai Chi. She continues to hone and expand her tai chi at various seminars and training sessions.
To learn more about Bao’s Lung Fei Tai Chi, visit www.baoslungfeitaichi.co.uk.