My classes have two parts, which are interrelated. We start with Qi Gong health exercises to help you bring attention and intention to the breath and your internal energy movement.
First, we focus on alignment, creating awareness of how we are standing and moving, shoulders relaxed, chest open and lifted. We intentionally shift weight, learning to know and feel where our weight is right now:
- 50/50, weight equally distributed on each leg;
- 100/0, weight fully on one leg with no weight on the other leg;
- and 70/30, 70% of our weight forward on one leg, with 30% on the back leg.
In addition, we practice walking, forward and backward. I re-learned to walk using the Tai Chi walking practice I teach in my current classes. With very challenged balance, favoring one leg and having a weak, unstable right ankle, I used this practice, with my hand against the wall, to regain my ability to walk. Not only am I grateful for sticking with this practice myself, I also have seen over my teaching years that it can improve everybody’s walking and alignment, regardless of starting point.
My philosophy is to help students learn what they are doing and why they are doing it. Focusing on both the actual moves and principles underlying them, helps students incorporate them into daily life.
The second part of my class focuses on learning and refining a Tai Chi form, with pre-determined movements developed by Tai Chi masters, that help to balance yin and yang. All principles in the first part of class play prominently in this second part. The form provides a framework and sequence of movement to relax, access the Qi and circulate it through the body. Above all, students use this framework to practice easily during the week and enjoy all the benefits the movements provide for enhancing good health.