Styles of Tai Chi

Yang style is the most popular and it consists of slow continuous, soft and circular movements in a flowing form.  To do Tai Chi, you perform a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner.  Each posture flows into the next without pausing. All forms of Tai Chi include rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing.  In order to perform Tai Chi properly, the body moves as a unit. Timing of movement is very important--all parts of the body start and end at the same time.  During transitions and weight shifts the weight ideally is on one foot, keeping the body upright.  Commonly referred to as "separating the weight”,  or substantial and insubstantial.  The slower and lower the movement, the greater the strength and endurance benefit.

Qigong (pronounded Chee-Gung) freely translated as "energy work" and combines basic standing exercises with deep rhythmic breathing and mental focus.  Designed to exercise soft tissues and increase energy levels. Class curriculum calls for about 20 minutes of Qigong for each class as part of our warm-ups. This activity shares many of the same training principles and concepts with tai chi. It is often taught as a stand alone art, however, we believe that QiGong compliments tai chi so well it should be included with tai chi training. Several different "sets" of Qigong are practiced each class.  Some existing physical problems--rehabbing from injury, fibromyalgia, chemotherapy, stress and chronic pain--are often cited as benefitting from QiGong training more directly than tai chi.  We offer both in our typical classes.

Announcing a new type of class---VETERANS QIGONG---this new concept started in October 2014 with a pilot program at THE VET CENTER, West Springfield, MA.  Now, over four years later, that program is still going strong.  That success has spawned another location--The VA Hospital at Leeds in Northampton.  And another, VA Center Bond St. in Springfield.  All classes teach basic concepts and exercises designed to allow Vets to heal themselves.  Contact us for more info.