T’ai chi is the embodiment of the taoist philosophy. The coursework starts for the beginner with the teaching of the choreography of connected movement. For the intermediate and advanced students, correction and martial applications are explained. The practice of t’ai chi is used around the world to promote pliability in the body and health in the human being. At the highest levels of practice, it is also an effective martial art. The practice produces a rigorous workout in a gentle and safe environment. Unlike western physical training regimes, t’ai chi opens the body gradually and gently. Leg strength, balance, increased blood circulation and a sense of energetic increase are some of the results of this practice. Cheng Man Ch’ing described t’ai chi as yoga with martial applications.
Chi gung is similar to t’ai chi, with the difference that the exercises are not typically connected from one movement to the next. The exercises are done singly, to isolate and consolidate the benefits of practice and are not intended directly to have a martial effect. There are hundreds of different chi gungs offered through out the world. The primary chi gung offered here will be the six exercise “Spinal Chi Gung” as taught by Sifu Robert Tangora. The benefits of the class are improved leg strength, a calming of the nervous system, increased concentration and mental focus and an overall sense of reduced stress.
This course will focus on developing awareness in the body to promote, health, stress reduction, peacefulness and energy. Practices from the Taoist, Tibetan and Sufi traditions will be implemented to explore and deepen an understanding of breath, mind and chi. An integrated approach will be used to encourage a wide field of inquiry and effect. No previous experience in meditation is required.
Cat walking is a practice modality used to investigate the Taoist idea of the interplay of “yin and yang”, fullness and emptiness, weighted and unweighted. Cat walking is used as a moving meditation in conjunction with mind and breath practices. Cat walking is both deep and simple with a wide effect in the body and the mind.
These practices will explore the possibilities and potentials of creativity arising with an increased awareness in the body. Various energy centers, from the Vedic (Hindu – chakra system) and Taoist traditions will be used to open and stimulate a deeper creative well within the practitioner. The idea of resonance, the effect of two tuning forks finding sympathetic vibration with one another, will be investigated. The relationship of artist to the subject of the art, will be investigated to stimulate an ever wider field of play. Various meditative practices, visualizations and movement will be used to unleash the hidden capacity of your creativity. Zen practices will be of particular value in this inquiry.
T’ai chi sword is the ancient art of extending the reach of chi from the body into an object. The sword becomes an energetic extension of the human body. As in t’ai chi, the practice begins with the study of connected postures and movements.