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An Introduction to Tai Chi

Meditation in Motion


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  • I hope that the woman who wanted to take classes but was turned off by the age factor went for it anyway. The reason so many older folks take it is because it's *very* gentle on the joints, and *does* improve balance - two important problems with being overweight that tai chi addresses. The class I take has a very wide age range, but I can tell you - the older folks in our class are far from having "one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel"! One other comment worth considering: tai chi is called "the ultimate workout." You won't break a sweat as you do with aerobics, but almost every aspect of physical health is covered: breathing, posture, movement, and yes, even cardio health. AND you get a great sense of peace from doing it. I can't think of any better exercise for a heavy person. Or a thin person. Or an old person. Or a young person...
  • I have been doing tai chi for just over a year now. I started it as part of my rehab after smashing my knee to pieces. It has been wonderful for building the strength back up in my leg, as well as for balance and general wellbeing. I also practice qigong which most tai chi instructors will also do. I really do recommend it for anyone one that would like a sport that is good for the soul and gentle yet challenging for the body. K.
  • The article offers some widely accepted beliefs about 'Tai Chi', most of which are incorrect as regards Taijiquan, the orginal martial art.
  • Here's a link to our Tai Chi Society, I would imagine many other cities have them too and I would bet they could direct you to the right qualified place...
  • I have been wanting to do this for years and found a beginners class that teaches all the moves in three months, I start in two weeks, I can't wait!
  • I have taught Tai Chi for 12 yrs and I believe the reasons for Senior Citizens classes is for balance, and the freedom of the day/and time for them. If your younger and want a class in the day with seniors-
    1) after a class go up to the instructor ask Sifu (teacher) if you can join in
    2) and go to the office and ask the same thing
    Before teaching, I was the only young person thier with seniors and was self taught by VHS. I went up the the Sifu and she wanted to see my Form. She excepted me. Reason you need a teach is many. My suggestion is GET A SIFU TODAY!!!
  • I was first introduced to Tai Chi as a way to become more focused in the theater when I was a high school student and I have been wondering if I should get back to it. However, it's not taught in my area. I am hesitant to relearn off videos as I remember the instructor being very hands on in manipulating our posture and stances as well as hand placement.
  • 1NIMUE Thanks for the link. I have been wanting more info and to learn how to do Tai Chi. This is great. Thanks so much.
  • I've been looking into tai chi. I've started my weight loss path at 280 and with extreme arthritis in both knees, so I see it as a potentially wonderful way to ease into moving my body more. Besides various medical groups saying that it can help with arthritis by loosening joints and improving muscles (not to mention via overall fitness), apparently some studies have shown that it can provide benefits to people with depression, which is also an issue of mine.

    Here's the problem: tai chi is so well known for being beneficial to older folks that the classes in my area are only offered for senior citizens! How crazy is that?? It's to the point where I'm going to call up the instructors and ask if they'd mind letting a 24 year old in. I don't want to make anybody feel uncomfortable, but I have to be able to access exercise at my level of ability too!

    If anybody has ideas/suggestions related to this, please let me know on my sparkpage :)
    I cannot recommend tai chi enough, especially for the elderly wishing to stay active or those who cannot participate in vigorous sports or easily get up and down off the floor for yoga. My sister-in-law is an instructor in kung fu and tai chi, and some of her tai chi students are in their 70's and 80's who even compete in tournaments.

    However, I think the article itself is a bit...superficial and poorly researched, and the use of quotes around "masters" to be rather condescending. This is definitely a definition by western standards and is what "cheap" tai chi predominantly is in the US, but it is not about real tai chi. Tai chi is a martial art, this is why it is always part of kung fu tournaments in the US and abroad, and any instructor worth his salt will know the martial applications of each of those "gentle" movements.

    I had the pleasure of meeting a grand master of tai chi and he would even contend that tai chi is not a soft martial art at all, it is practice softly, but applied hard. This is a man who can literally throw you across the room. Tai chi's martial aspects are definitely not a thing of the past.

    I believe this article's basic description, "meditation in motion," much more accurately describes the practice of Qigong, which I would also recommend.
  • I would like to interject a comment here only because I've had this experience.

    When seeking an instructor in Tai Chi, ask to see their credentials. If you're going to a "self-taught" Tai Chi master, you're barking up the wrong tree. Chances are that they've never formally taken a class, or even know a master, and can do more harm than good.

    You might be going slow with the Tai Chi poses, but you're working up quite a sweat. A qualified instructor will be able to tailor a program to fit your needs and give you a little challenge.

    Almost 17 years ago, I took a class at the local dance studio. I was pregnant wiht my youngest son at the time. I loved tai chi!
  • I have joint problems which I imagine would be helped by Tai Chi. I reside in the "sticks" so I'll have to see where classes may be offered.
  • MJWARD54
    I have been looking for an article regarding tai chi. Thanks!

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