Tai Chi for Beginners
These classes provide a supportive environment to begin learning an authentic Tai Chi practice. They are designed around a systematic and progressive syllabus outlined below. Students can learn at their own pace, consolidating their learning and progress further by attending intermediate classes and workshops when they wish.
Loosening and mobilizing exercises are practised at the start of each class to open the body, release tension, develop body awareness and articulation of movement.
The Tai Chi Body – Structure and Release
Students are introduced to the principles of Tai Chi posture and the process of cultivating relaxation and release within the body, creating the foundation for Tai Chi practice.
Principles of Tai Chi Movement
Simple movement patterns are introduced – including verticality, shifting weight, rotation, stepping and co-ordination of the upper and lower body – covering the main aspects of movement in this Tai Chi style. Students can later progress to learn Huang Sheng Shyan’s 5 loosening exercises, which provide a framework to understand and cultivate the deeper aspects of the practice.
Tai Chi Form Sequence – 37 Posture Form
Tai Chi Form is a sequence of connected, flowing movements which originate from martial arts applications. There are many different Tai Chi forms – the 37 Posture Form derives from Yang style and was created by Cheng Man-ch’ing and taught by him in China, Taiwan and the USA between 1946 and 1975 – later refined by his student Huang Sheng Shyan and subsequent teachers. We will focus initially on learning the first 8 movements from the opening section of the 37 Form.
Tai Chi Partner Practice
Beginner partner practice is taught through non-competitive exercises, to enhance the understanding of Tai Chi principles and cultivate basic skills, including grounding, issuing, connected movements and co-operative partner forms. Partnerwork can be the most fascinating and enjoyable aspect of Tai Chi practice, and is ideally approached with an attitude of co-operation and mutual growth.
Ch’i Gung (Chi Kung, Qigong)
Ch’i Gung exercises involve breath, movement, imagination and body awareness, and are a useful complement to Tai Chi practice.