Tai Chi Fit is a unique workout that I have developed after decades of traditional tai chi (taijiquan) practice. It is an effort to make tai chi more fun and accessible, while making your fitness more graceful and holistic. It's a ride along the wave of your inner power, like surfing on your own life energy—the Qi. It combines the best elements of modern exercise workouts, simple meditation and the ancient martial art of tai chi.
The Tai Chi Fit workout series is a perfect crossover program to connect tai chi to fitness, yoga, Pilates and dance. Based on the tradition of Tai Chi Cao (calisthenics), Tai Chi Fit draws all the movements from traditional Tai Chi Chuan, Tai Chi Jian (sword), Tai Chi Qiu (ball), Tai Chi Chih (ruler) and Qigong (energy work). However, instead of focusing on memorizing and perfecting routines, the Tai Chi Fit workouts emphasize the principle of "xiang lian" or "lian guan," Continuous Flow. But, as participants quickly discover, that continuous motion makes for a great workout, inside and out.
Feel the Flow of Tai Chi
Whichever form you choose, try incorporating a simple tai chi workout into your life a few days a week, with an emphasis on continuity, connection, and your feeling of flow – the mind/body connection. In that relaxed-yet energized state, your movement becomes freer, the energy inside you is awakened, and your mind becomes peaceful and calm. You find balance. And when you find balance – everything just works better.
The Flow workout meets the needs of a variety of different students. First, this is the absolute best starting place for tai chi beginners who just want to experience the moves and the deep feeling of tai chi for the first time. Flow is also an excellent form of tai chi for seniors, as well as those with common medical conditions such as Parkinson's, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, hemophilia, diabetes, or obesity.
The Flow workout is a perfect way to begin a tai chi practice without the minute-detail usually associated even with traditional short forms, which can get in the way of students' pleasant experience. Even though there are no forms to learn, the movements themselves are not simplified nor "watered down." It is also a great way for experienced tai chi practitioners to drill on the movements, and practice the often-overlooked tai chi principle of "continuity without interruption."
Find Your Tai Chi Strength
By alternating between empty-hand and weighted tai chi ball movements, the Strength routine gradually energizes the entire body, increases your bone density, and boosts your cardiovascular performance. You'll also feel the contrast between the hardness and the softness, between the effort and the letting go.
The Strength workout combines tai chi, qigong and yoga to improve your Qi (energy) circulation and your physical endurance. You will learn empowering fundamental tai chi moves while staying relaxed and focused. It is excellent for those who need low-impact, whole-body exercise, such as those with back pain or in need of core-strengthening.
Regular tai chi practice will gently rebuild the health of your muscles, joints, and spine while helping you to relax deeply. Over time, you'll experience the tai chi principle of embodying "softness embedded in hardness."
Take a Tai Chi Coffee Break
What if you only have a short time for your tai chi workout? What if you only have limited space? It's almost impossible to practice most traditional forms in your office or the average living room. The "To Go" workouts are portable, "pocket-sized" sequences that you can do anytime, anywhere. These short sequences are perfect for the commuter, the traveler, the busy Mom or Dad, and especially good for the workplace. Try a tai chi break instead of coffee!
Fitness instructors and tai chi teachers can use these short routines as warm-ups and introductions for their regular classes. The 20-minute "To Go" workouts are a great way to get tai chi practice whenever you can find time and a little space to move. This program is perfect for tai chi practitioners wanting some relaxing exercise with some challenging variety, and a way to practice a few moments of tranquility during your day.
Enjoy Tai Chi at Any Age
I'm over 50 myself, and know first-hand how the body changes over time. We have to move it or lose it. With just a little effort a few days a week, we can enjoy the health benefits of tai chi, including improved mobility, balance, strength and flexibility.
Perfect for seniors, those with limited range of motion, or anyone looking for some gentle exercise, the "Over 50" workout combines basic tai chi moves and energizing qigong exercises to circulate the Qi up and down throughout the body. The "Over 50" program allows anyone to experience the wonderful feeling and benefits of tai chi without the stress of needing to memorize the movements, which is a common experience for tai chi beginners who are not seeking a complex form with minute details. With Tai Chi Fit you can just follow along with your TV or tablet, have fun, and keep smiling!