Qigong and Tai Chi Essentials (The Basics)

Posted in Class Descriptions

Beginning students work on overall stretching, flexibility, balance and coordination, by learning the “Basics” of T’ai Chi. The principles of Qigong are also introduced and developed. Classes are offered in Level 1 and Level 2 designations, and we also offer Seniors’ classes specifically tailored to the needs and limitations of our older students. We have partnered with ASH Fitness to offer Silver&Fit® benefits for those Medicare members who qualify. These classes focus on balance, range of motion, overall flexibility as well as fall prevention. And just like in the other classes, Seniors also work on developing skills for quieting the mind and centering.

More advanced students can also use these basic movements and concepts to continue to build on the basic foundations. This will further increase their physical strength as well as their awareness and concentration levels, thereby promoting a deeper sense of well being and stillness within themselves.

Note: Reference DVD’s for many of the sets listed below are available for purchase to COL students, to assist in their training away from the dojo.

Five Temple Meditations/Five Elements

5 basic movements to introduce the body to various postures in order to begin to be able to find one´s “center”, and begin to gently open up the body.

The Five Element set focuses particularly on the organ pairs that are associated with each “element”.  The Five Elements include Metal (or Air/Void), Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.  Each exercise works on gently opening up the meridian (energetic) pathways of the body, in order to directly effect the organs associated with those pathways.  The “Fire” exercise is shown in the video clip below. In the 5 Element Theory, Fire nurtures and strengthens the heart and small intestine meridian pairs. In conjunction, the Academy also teaches how to locate acupressure points to balance and improve the flow of Qi in each of the 12 major meridians.

Eight Pieces of Brocade

A well known set of exercises in T’ai Chi, developed to work on flexibility and strength. Strengthens and nurtures specific organs through the use of the breath. The Academy teaches one of the many versions of this set.

Eight Essentials

Continues to work on basics by introducing different principles of T’ai Chi. More emphasis is placed on balance in this set.

Chi Kung Meditation Postures

Individual T’ai Chi postures held for extended periods of time are designed to increase internal power, as well as strength and flexibility. The student stands immobile while continually trying to soften the tensions that arise in the body. These postures are very challenging for beginners, but quickly become very meditative and powerful.

Twelve Tao Yin

12 movements designed to concentrate on softness in the body. Continues to work on flexibility and strength, in the waist area in particular. The Academy teaches one of the many Tao Yin sets available.

Six Stars

A meditative set of 6 exercises that are much more static in nature. These standing postures are “Yin” based and work very subtly on the energy systems of the body.

Hwa To´s Animal Frolics

Applying the “Basics”, the student furthers their understanding of Energy or Chi….Three Animal Forms examine and develop Chi by using breathing in conjunction with movement.

CRANE – designed to open the body and to work smooth…. and balanced energy flow.

DEER – designed to work on flexibility and lightness of body – advanced movements strengthen the legs. This is a powerful workout.

BEAR – develops strong stances and connected power.

Silk Reeling

“Silk Reeling” is a class designed to deeply open up the joints of the body by using dynamic, circular movements. These movements incorporate almost all the joints in the body, from the smaller metacarpal bones of the hands to larger structures such as the hip joints. The term “silk reeling” originates from the old tradition of reeling silk from a cocoon.