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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


How can to 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.


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Tai Chi Flow


Imagine... moving to the rhythm of modern music, a group gliding and moving together, while body, mind and breath come together as One.   In this moving meditation, there is no routine or choreography to learn. With a focus on breath and honoring your body’s movements, you will experience the wonderful state of FLOW.  We will move for approximately 45 minutes with some reflection and meditation at the beginning and end of our time together. 


In our time together we will combine elements of balance, meditation, Qigong and traditional Tai Chi.  This class is an all inclusive class and everyone is welcome!  All you have to is open your mind, your breath and your heart.   Wear comfortable clothes and clear enough space to extend your arms in all directions. 

Click on a link below, follow along and experience a Tai Chi Flow class first hand!

Tai Chi 8 and/or 24 forms (Yang Style)

The 8 form was created as a simplified version of and stepping stone to learning the longer 24 form.  Both forms are part of the Yang style of Tai Chi. The 8 form reduces the number of movements to learn allowing you time to develop a natural flow of movement.  You can do practice at home alone, or with a group.   As with all Awaken Tai Chi, 8 form and can be modified to meet your needs and abilities. This form is excellent beginners and seniors.

Tai Chi and Yoga

Enjoy the graceful, flowing and meditative movements of Yoga and Tai Chi.  This combination is perfect for non-yoga and yoga folks.  

This workout will allow your body to soften and your tai chi movements will be more relaxed just like the bamboo trees waving in the wind. Growth in tai chi can’t be forced; you have to learn to let go.  Combining tai chi and standing yoga asanas (poses) will help you extend and stretch your body and mind, like the a great tree reaching for the sky.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Juli at (509) 944-5203 or

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