For the majority of people who take up the practice of Tai Chi, its health benefits are the main attraction. There is a large amount of research to support the effects of Tai Chi on general health and specific health problems. Indeed, there is substantial scientific and medical evidence to show its effects on several areas such as balance and mobility, osteoarthritis, pain (including arthritic pain, migraine and back pain), high blood pressure, muscle strength, depression, pulmonary disorders, and cognitive performance. Whatever the science suggests, most people who practice Tai Chi will admit that it has improved their general well-being and youthfulness. The Tai Chi for Health courses consist of two levels: the Beginners course and the Continuing course.
The Tai Chi practiced by students of the Shen Long school is primarily based on the forms and methods as handed down by Professor Cheng Man Ching during the final years of his life. Professor Cheng was continually furthering his understanding of Tai Chi and many of the skills learned were not taught to his earlier students.
These classes are suitable for complete beginners or those who have a small amount of Tai Chi training. However, people who have studied for some years and have either let their practice lapse or have practiced a different style of Tai Chi may also find this course suitable. The course is divided into three twelve-week terms, each lesson reviewing the previous week’s content and adding step-by-step each following lesson.
The course includes a brief introduction to Traditional Taoist Tai Chi and how it may differ from other schools. Students will first focus on correct posture, breathing, balance and relaxation. They will learn basic Tai Chi exercises to stretch and loosen the body, and movement to slowly strengthen the legs. At this stage it is vital to begin to learn how to bring mobility to the joints while relaxing the muscles. The first part of the Traditional Taoist Tai Chi 37 Forms will also be studied.
For students continuing on, they will begin to learn the second part of the 37 Forms. It will also include the Five Animal Play (五禽戲), special exercises attributed to the ancient physician, Hua Tuo, and named after the Bear, Bird, Monkey, Tiger and Deer.
During this final term, students will complete the final third of the 37 Forms. There will also be plenty of time for revision and Q&A.
No previous experience is required for this course but students should be prepared to practice daily on their own even for as little as 10 minutes per day.
1 hour per class
£70 (concession £60)
£80 (concession £70)
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