I primary teach Sun style tai chi. The creator of Sun style tai chi, Sun Lu Tang, described the highest goal of tai chi as harmonizing with the dao. In this sense, dao means the way of nature, or the creativity of all creation. Harmonizing with the dao implies that we are developing a connection to all of nature. We strive to join in unity with all of nature.
Tai chi has its roots in Chinese martial arts. While tai chi is a martial art, the emphasis in my teaching is developing mental quietness and serenity. Tai chi is a calming, slow-moving exercise that moves us into a meditative state where we can develop that mental quietness that helps us survive this busy life we are all part of.
There are many benefits to practicing tai chi. The slow movements develop your ability to control your movements to a finer level that you have been able to. It helps strengthen your legs, improve your balance, and works the entire body in gentle movements. The repetition of movements develops your ability to concentrate and focus on the task at hand.
Some styles of tai chi exhibit more of the martial aspects of tai chi and may not be suitable for many people to learn. Sun style tai chi consists of smooth, flowing movements that emphasize delivering force instead of brute strength. It is done from a mostly upright stance. The introductory Sun style tai chi set is called Tai Chi for Arthritis. It is easy on the body and is suitable for virtually everyone including people with arthritis and other chronic conditions. It also serves as an introduction to the longer Sun 73 set, a competition routine with more difficult movements.
On a deeper level, tai chi uses deep breathing and mental focus to promote mental calmness and an even disposition. It helps you approach situations in a more relaxed manner. One of the fundamental teachings of tai chi refers to Jing (精), Qi (氣), and Shen (神), or uniting body, mind, and spirit. Thus the name of my business, Meditation in Motion.
Tai chi is simple, while at the same time it is one of the most complex activities you will ever attempt. All you need to begin the journey are comfortable clothes and shoes and a willingness to commit to something new.