What is Tai Chi?

Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.  Originating in China with roots in martial arts, Qigong and traditional Chinese medicine, it has been

growing in popularity in the United States.

 

Tai chi has many different styles. Each style may subtly emphasize various tai chi principles and methods. There are variations within each style. Some styles may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi.   Tai Chi's soft flowing movements and internal focus share some of the mind-body principles of Yoga, but without the need to get down on the floor or hold long uncomfortable poses. Don't let the gentle moves fool you; thirty minutes of Tai Chi burns the same number of calories as thirty minutes of brisk walking.

 

Tai Chi exercise does not involve any sort of religious practice. Students can fit the internal mind-body focus achieved through Tai Chi to whatever spirituality they choose or concentrate solely on the physical fitness aspects of the instruction.  To learn more about Tai Chi, its history and the health benefits click on "Brief History of Tai Chi".  

Why try Tai Chi?

When learned correctly and performed regularly, tai chi can be a positive part of an overall approach to improving your health. The benefits of tai chi may include:*

  • Decreased stress, anxiety and depression

  • Improved mood

  • Improved aerobic capacity

  • Increased energy and stamina

  • Improved flexibility, balance and agility

  • Improved muscle strength and definition

Some evidence also indicates that tai chi may help:

  • Enhance quality of sleep

  • Enhance the immune system

  • Help lower blood pressure

  • Improve joint pain

  • Improve symptoms of congestive heart failure

  • Improve overall well-being

  • Reduce risk of falls in older adults

*mayoclinic.org

How can I maintain the benefits of Tai Chi?

While you may gain some benefit from a tai chi class that lasts 12 weeks or less, you may enjoy greater benefits if you continue tai chi for the long term and become more skilled. You may find it helpful to practice tai chi in the same place and at the same time every day to develop a routine. But if your schedule is erratic, do tai chi whenever you have a few minutes. You can even practice the soothing mind-body concepts of tai chi without performing the actual movements when you are in a stressful situation, such as a traffic jam or a tense work meeting, for instance.

What are the Tai Chi for Health programs?​

Tai Chi for Health programs follow a intentionally crafted set of forms to help with health restoration and maintenance. Some programs target specific illness and rehabilitation needs.   The Tai Chi for Health programs are supported by many leading organisations and government bodies around the world, including the USA Centers for Disease Control (CDC.gov), Arthritis Foundations and Administration on Aging.

The essential principles include mind integrated with the body; control of movements and breathing; generating internal energy, mindfulness, song (loosening 松) and jing (serenity 静). The ultimate purpose of tai chi is cultivating the qi or life energy within us to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. Total harmony of the inner and outer self comes from the integration of mind and body, empowered through healthy qi through the practice of tai chi. Tai Chi for Health programs are modernized tai chi incorporating medical science to deliver health benefits more quickly.

Each Tai Chi for Health class involves QiGong, warm-up exercises, instruction on form, putting tai chi principles into action and cool-down exercises.  These classes can be done seated or standing.  Juli is a certified Tai Chi for Health in both Rehabilitation and Arthritis & Fall Prevention. 

 

What is the TaijiFit Flow Experience?

Imagine... moving to the rhythm of modern music, a group gliding and swaying together, bodies pulsing with Qi (our life energy), while muscles, mind and breath come together as One.
 

TaijiFit is a body/mind workout that combines the best elements of fitness, meditation, Qigong and traditional Taiji (TaiChi).   It is a workout for any age, fitness level or level of mobility.  With a focus on breath and honoring your body’s movements, you will experience the wonderful state of FLOW.  When you engage in TaijiFit, you find yourself moving your body with the grace and confidence of the ancient Tai Chi masters who learned the secret of balancing yin and yang – strength with beauty, power with peace, endurance with flow. 

 

There is no routine or choreography to memorize.  Nothing to “get right.”  All you have to do is follow me and I will lead you into FLOW using the Qi Cueing method developed by International Master, David-Dorian Ross.  Qi Cueing is designed to bring your muscular, cardiovascular and nervous systems into perfect synergy (along with your mind and spirit).  TaijiFit is accessible to everyone.  All you have to is open your mind, your breath and your heart.   Get into the FLOW (Feel Love Over Worry).  Juli is a certified TaijiFit Instructor. 

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