Tai Chi is practiced by individuals for the purpose of becoming centered and calm. It brings a person’s body into natural balance by creating feelings of peace, calm, and quiet. Tai Chi also promotes good posture, muscle tone, flexibility, and agility. Regular practice of this discipline encourages integration of the body and mind, the muscular and skeletal systems, and the right and left brain. It is also a positive, non-violent way of releasing excess energy and aggression.
Enhanced awareness is an outcome of a regular practice of Tai Chi. A 20-minute session not only brings about relaxation and greater awareness, but also moves a practitioner’s brain into alpha waves. This is the state in which an individual is relaxed and alert. Benefits of this state include enhanced creativity, more easily grasping new concepts, working more easily working with already mastered concepts. A regular practice of Tai Chi helps to reduce anxiety levels and achieve an attitude of calm and peace.
The seven Tai Chi principles are centering, focus, coordination, quiet mind, quiet movement, quiet breathing, and quiet smile.
5Element Form Tai Chi is based upon the five elements (fire, earth, air/metal, water, and wood) of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The warm up and five simple postures, make this form easy to learn and remember. These simple movements can be easily and incorporated into a daily exercise routine.
The Sky Story is a Tai Chi form that uses eight movements to tell the tale of Earth moving through the day from sunup to moonrise. Based upon the work of Patrice Thomas, author of The Power of Relaxation: Using Tai Chi and Visualization to Reduce Children’s Stress, this form engages young people from 7 to 17. It is a fun family activity.
Sifu Vanessa F. Hurst, ms, has been practicing Tai Chi for 17 years. She has been teaching for 11 years. Currently Vanessa teaching at the UofL School of Medicine and Get Healthy Now, a subsidiary of UofL. She also offers community classes.
Contact Vanessa about ongoing classes, programs for your organization, and special children events,