Tai Chi, also known as “Meditation in Movement”, is an ancient Chinese system of low impact, mind and body exercises and movements which were developed basically to promote health and longevity. It consists of both Tai Chi movements, which are used also as exercises, and choreographed forms, that are set out in a series of sequences. Although it was first developed as a martial art many centuries ago, it is mainly used to promote personal health and vitality as well as improving mind and spirit.
You may have seen pictures or videos of thousands of Chinese people
of all ages practising in the open air. It became popular in the West from the 1980’s and has quickly spread across the UK.
Qigong (Vital Energy), also spelt Chi Kung and pronounced “Chee Goong“ is also an Ancient Chinese system, developed as far back as the 6th Century. Tai Chi originated from Qigong in the 13th Century. It consists of gentle movements and exercises and concentrates on developing internal energy which includes both breathing techniques and gentle flowing exercises and movements.
The combination of Tai Chi and Qigong practiced together help in improving overall general health by enhancing the body’s immune system. This also includes combating against common illnesses, such as headaches, colds and flu and can also help in reducing stress and tension.
A good description of what these two practices are includes.
“Chi Kung consists of exercises and breathing that builds up the body’s store of energy (Chi)” and “Tai Chi movements distribute this energy”
These movement and breathing exercises focus on opening the flow of energy to all parts of the body, including organs, nerves, brain, muscles, and tissues. The practice also helps to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, mood swings and depression.
Tai Chi/Qigong can be practiced by people of all ages and physical and mental ability. Worldwide studies have been conducted over the past few years, including China, USA, Africa, and Australia which have produced considerable favourable results. Examples of these include: –
- Preventing falls and the fear of falling, by improving balance strength and flexibility.
- Delays in the onset of dementia
- Assisted in the health of people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other chronic physical disabilities
- Improvements in psychological well-being including, reduction of stress, tension and anxiety related syndromes.
- Considerable improvements in cardiovascular and respiratory functions.
- Pain reduction and improved quality of life.
Alan’s classes consist of Qigong exercises and breathing, Tai Chi movements and Forms.
Alan teaches Tai Chi forms of 3 major styles
Chen – 36 form and 32 sword form
Yang – Yang 10, 11, 16, 24 and 40 form.
- Sun – 30 form
- Other miscellaneous forms including forms from Tai Chi for Health System; Diabetes, Arthritis and Osteoporosis. Yin Yang, 18 Chi Kung form, Energy Form and Eight Immortals.
- Chi Kung exercises including:
- 18 Lohan Hands/ 18 Chi Kung Exercises
- 5 Elements/4 Elements
- Tibetan Breathing Exercises
- Tai Chi movements
- Ba Duan Jin – 8 Treasures.
For class days / times, please visit the class schedule here