Tai Chi, often called "moving meditation", is a martial art that originated in China. It is a discipline that integrates mind, body and spirit as you practice a series of slow-moving martial arts exercises, called "forms". Tai Chi increases strength, and improves the flow of energy in the body. As a form of exercise Tai Chi has been shown to lessen the pain of arthritis by strengthening the muscles around the joints. It also improves balance and cardiovascular health. Many find they are better able to concentrate, the quality of their sleep improves, and they have more energy and can cope with day to day stresses more easily. The calming aspects of Tai Chi develop from the coordination of breath with movement and the focused concentration on slow, gentle, structured movement patterns. Students learn how to keep the muscles active but not tense, the mind alert but calm, and body movements well-coordinated. For hundreds of years, older adults, especially the Chinese, have practiced Tai Chi daily as a means of staying healthy and vital.
Tai Chi classes at The Yoga Loft are a combination of group and individual instruction. Participants work at their own pace, within their own physical capabilities. For some students Tai Chi is a primary form of exercise; for others, it is used to compliment other activities, such as walking, swimming or weight training. Because Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese art, many students also enjoy learning about its relationship to Chinese philosophy, its basis on animal movements, and it defensive usage.
Class starts with a short period of meditation, then a series of warm-up exercises, and then independent form practice. It is not as easy as it looks! Perfecting and refining techniques is essential in the study of this art, and you will be working at your own pace to achieve your personal best. The wholesome discipline of a Tai Chi practice provides countless rewards!