Tai Chi Workshop x4
Time- 10.30am to 11.30
Venue: The Flame, 14 City Arcade, City centre, Coventry, CV13HW
Price - £30.00
20th May 2017 - T’ai Chi for Health
T’ai chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with slow, gentle movements. Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, T’ai Chi is today practiced around the world as a health-promoting exercise. The benefits are numerous, from lowering blood pressure to fall prevention, reducing stress to pain management and improved general health and wellbeing. This workshop will give an overview of the ways in which T’ai chi can be practiced to improve your health.
T’ai Chi is characterised by its slow, graceful, continuous movements; gentle on the joints and muscles. Done correctly, you'll find that the T’ai Chi poses flow smoothly from one into another. This workshop will explore how these moves can be beneficial for both physical and mental health.
There have been a number of studies showing that T’ai Chi can help to reduce stress, improve balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs and core. Some research (published in the British Medical Journal) suggests T’ai Chi can reduce the risk of falls among older adults who are at increased risk.
There is evidence that T’ai Chi can improve mobility in the ankle, hip and knee in people with rheumatoid arthritis and generally guard against stiffening of the joints. Developing core muscles will also help to maintain mobility and balance and improve muscle tone.
It is enjoyable and relaxing and suitable for those who may find other types of exercise difficult. T’ai Chi is commonly performed as a low-impact form of exercise, which means it won’t put much pressure on your bones and joints and most people should be able to do it.
10th June 2017 - Chi as Meditation
What makes T’ai Chi stand out from any similar exercise classes is the philosophy and use of moving meditation to promote psychological and emotional well-being in addition to the physical benefits. The mind and body work together, no-longer separate but as one harmonious being.
This workshop will explore the concept of ‘moving meditation’ and look more closely at how T’ai chi can reduce stress and anxiety.
There are many stories about the history of T’ai but there is one legend in which Tai Chi’s origin is credited to Chang San-Feng, a Taoist monk. He is said to have developed a series of exercises mimicking the movements of animals. The monk emphasised meditation and the concept of internal force. T’ai Chi adopted the concepts yin and yang (opposing forces within your body) and chi (vital energy or life force). It is through an understanding of these concepts that the T’ai chi practitioner can achieve calm and focus.
Exercises will focus on slow meditative movements and breathing. This is often a good introduction to meditation for those who find themselves easily distracted or unable to maintain their meditation practice. The simple movements are easy to learn and regular practice will bring about a much more relaxed state of mind.
22nd July 2017 - Chi for Balance
The unique combination of slow, choreographed movements, controlled breathing and meditation taught in T’ai Chi can provide all manner of health benefits. Being able to move easily and smoothly with improved posture and balance has an immediate impact on both physical and psychological wellbeing.
Balance in this context refers to both physically being able to remain upright, move gracefully with good posture and avoid falls but also inner balance returning to consider the concepts of yin and yang and what is needed to achieve balance in our lives generally.
A 2013 study by the University of Arizona College of Nursing found that Yang-style tai chi could improve balance, strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance in stroke survivors, significantly reducing the risk of falls. The NHS recommends T’ai Chi as part of its fall prevention advice and Age Concern and The Osteoporosis Society also recognise the many benefits of T’ai chi particularly in relation to improving balance.
In this workshop I will look at posture, walking and stance and then move onto more advanced balance exercises for those who are able. However, If you are interested in this workshop but worried about the exercises please don’t be concerned. Part of the appeal of T’ai Chi is that there is no such thing as too old – or too out of shape. It is a low-impact exercise that anyone – regardless of age or ability – should be able to do, a good teacher will be able to adapt any movement to what you can do. I will show you how to build up slowly gradually improving what you can do over time always within comfortable limits.
2nd September 2017 - T’ai Chi for Life
T’ai Chi is so much more than just a series of movements, it is a window onto a whole new way of approaching life if you choose it to be. In this age of rushing from pillar to post and instant gratification T’ai Chi provides a welcome antidote. Often the hardest thing that new students have to learn is to slow down and be patient with themselves. The watchwords on my T shirts are ‘Balance, Tranquility & Strength’, classes are an oasis of calm in a mad world.
In this workshop I will pull together the strands from the previous 3 workshops and look at how these lessons can be applied to improve our lives. The physical benefits and the tools to improve our mental health all come together to gradually improve the way we feel about ourselves and the world we live in.
In Tai Chi we learn from the very first class that there is no activity that does not engage the whole body. Just because the arms are involved in a movement does not mean that the source of energy and strength is found there; all arm effort must be rooted in the waist, hips and legs and not in the arms by themselves. This underlines the importance of looking at your body and mind in a holistic way not viewing either parts of your body or your mind in isolation.
The movement of breath is crucial in all activity; to hold one's breath is contrary to good health and to be avoided at all costs. We learn the art of minimal productivity. Do less, not more. Push don't lift, and take small steps rather than grand leaps. Tai Chi can teach us a lot. The basic fundamental ideas about energy use, posture, and effort are there in all our daily activities from breathing to thinking and to moving.
T’ai Chi can be both healing and energising, whether you are looking to improve a health problem, nurture yourself or just a fun and different activity T’ai Chi may teach you things you least expect.