“keeping the mind calm and body relaxed”
“keeping the body naturally upright (zhong zheng) and comfortable”
“sinking the vital life energy (qi) to the field of elixir (Dantian)”
“initiating movements by the mind and heart”
“and seeking stillness in movement”
Beginning Tai Chi
Our beginning tai chi (taijiquan) program, Simplified Yang Style 24 step Taijiquan, is designed for the beginning practitioner of ALL ages and of ALL abilities! All over the world each morning, millions of people embrace this practice. Here in the US Tai Chi has become a daily health practice for 2.7 million people according to a survey done in 2007 by National Center for Health Statistics and The National Institutes for Health. Self care is becoming the heart of health care. Since ancient times, Tai Chi has had multiple health benefits, many of which are currently being investigated through research at major universities and teaching hospitals here in the US and around the world.
The International Qigong Foundation, Inc. teaches classes in Tai Chi, specifically in Simplified Yang Style 24 step because it was designed for the beginner to learn Tai Chi. The 24 forms were selected from the main parts of Yang Style Taijiquan, creating an easy-to-learn-and-to-practice sequence. It emphasizes the health benefits of Taijiquan. The movements are soft and smooth, with straight and balanced postures and they are suitable for both the young and old. Once learned, the complete set takes 4 to 6 minutes to complete. The principle arrangement of the order of forms is from simple to complicated, easy to difficult. In China, it is known as the “little flower” of China, and provides a step for beginners to “enter the door” into the Taijiquan world. It is the most popular form of Taijiquan in China and the world and it is the form most used in the US for “Tai Chi” research.
Why do we practice Tai Chi?
Benefits the Nervous System:
Taijiquan combines both motion and stillness. Motion keeps the body fit, while stillness nourishes the mind. “Leading the body with the mind”, and “focus of the mind”, assists smooth circulation of blood and energy throughout the body. It helps to coordinate and relax the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, dispelling tension and fatigue in the nerves of the brain, refreshing the mind and activating the spirit.
Benefits the Cardiovascular System:
Taijiquan is a gentle and moderate exercise, keeping the heart calm and blood pressure stable.
Benefits the Bones and Muscles:
In Taijiquan, one needs to keep the body upright “zhong zheng”, the feet steady and the joints flexible. It teaches one to move and maintain one’s “central equilibrium” referred to as “zhong ding”
Benefits the Respiratory System:
The mind and breath are closely related the movement. Breathing should be kept natural, smooth, even and deep. Taijiquan uses deep abdominal breathing, “sinking qi into the Dantian”, in a way that intensifies the exercise of the diaphragm. This stimulates the blood circulation in the abdomen, movement of the bowels, enhancing digestion.