Beginning Saturday 10/7, I will be teaching a series of eight classes for those who are new to T’ai-Chi or wish to take the beginner’s class again. Classes will be held Saturday mornings from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. in the District Center Community Room. There is still room for more! Please register on-line with White Bear Lake Community Education by clicking here.
Beginning 9/27 I will be teaching a series of eight classes for those who are new to T’ai-Chi or wish to take the beginner’s class again. Classes will be held Wednesday afternoons/evenings from 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. in the ECFE gym. The class is filling up fast, but there is still room for a few more students. You can register on-line by clicking on the following link:
Just as recreational or professional athletes perform warm-ups before their training or events, it is important that we perform warm-up exercises to prepare ourselves for the practice of T’ai-Chi. Warm-up exercises:
Wake up the body to itself
Open up and lubricate our joints
Gently massage our organs
Stimulate blood and lymph circulation
Simultaneously relax and strengthen our bodies
Encourage greater body suppleness
T’ai-Chi warm-up exercises are the first step in deepening our body awareness in preparation for standing meditation and T’ai-Chi. They are more about mobility and range of motion than they are about stretching.
Warm-ups are most effective when we start at the top and work our way down our bodies. Warm-ups release tension and relax our bodies, and it is difficult for our legs and lower back to relax when they are trying to support a tense upper body.
When performing our warm-ups, we do not “bounce” as bouncing stretches our muscles beyond their ability to stretch safely, and therefore can lead to injury. Instead, we like to use circular motion (T’ai-Chi loves circles, arcs, and curves!) whenever possible, which is a safer and more effective way of warming up for the specific practice of T’ai-Chi.
As always, do not perform any one or more of the warm-ups if you experience pain or discomfort. Be especially careful if you are nursing an injury that could be aggravated by any of these exercises. And if you are working with a therapist or any other health care provider, please review the exercises with them before performing the exercises.
The exercises are provided below as a reminder to those who perform these regularly in class.
- Gently raise your chin up and down.
- Turn your head side to side.
- Ear to shoulder, both sides.
- Rotate your right shoulder back.
- Rotate your left shoulder back.
- Rotate both shoulders back.
- Squeeze your shoulders behind, then in front (when squeezing in front, bring back of hands together).
- Circle both arms back.
- Circle just your right arm.
- Circle just your left arm.
- Circle your right arm across your front.
- Gently pull the right elbow in toward you.
- Circle your left arm across your front.
- Gently pull that elbow in toward you.
- Spiral your arms to the side, alternating sides.
- Spiral your hands in front (back of hands end up facing each other in front).
- Spiral your hands overhead (again back of hands end up facing each other when overhead).
- Reach for the sky, hand over hand.
- Reach for the sky, hand under hand.
- Gently pull your elbows in toward your head (one elbow at a time).
- Swing your arms forward.
- Open your arms arching your back; close your arms (around your front) rounding your back.
- Swing your arms to the side.
- Rub your kidneys.
- Turn to your right, place your right heel out (toe up), lean forward relaxing your abdomen and lower back.
- Turn to your left, place your left heel out (toe up), lean forward relaxing your abdomen and lower back.
- Turn to the front, separate your feet a little more than shoulder worth, lean forward, again relaxing your abdomen and lower back. When done, bend your knees so you move into a squat and then push up with your legs.
- Circle at your waist five times each direction.
- With knees bent, circle your pelvis five times each direction.
- With knees straight, circle your hips five times each direction.
- Turn to your right, step forward with your right foot and circle your hips toward your right foot.
- Gently ease down into a lunge, keeping your rear heel up.
- Turn to your left, step forward with your left foot and circle your hips toward your left foot.
- Gently ease down into a lunge, keeping your rear heel up.
- Turn toward the front, feet together, hang forward relaxing your abdomen and lower back.
- Loosen up your wrists.
And even though these Qigong-type exercises are done in preparation for T’ai-Chi, they can also be done on their own as a great way to boost your energy levels!
Beginning this coming Thursday 9/21, I will be leading a series of six weekly classes on Qigong at the LifeTime Fitness club in White Bear Lake. Qigong is an ancient Chinese form of exercise that includes healing posture, movement, breathing technique, and meditation. It works with the life energy in our bodies in a way that improves the health and harmony of mind and body.
In this series of classes we will practice warm-up exercises, standing meditation, simple Qigong movements, and learn a Qigong routine that has been practiced and handed down to us by the Yang family.
Although standing is preferred, all exercises in this class can be performed seated. Register at the front desk of the club. Classes will be for six Thursdays beginning 9/21, and will meet from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. Cost is $80 for all classes. Open to LTF members and LTF guests.
Classes begin this coming Tuesday at Blue Sky Therapeutic Yoga, Stillwater, MN.
I am offering two classes:
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. for those who have completed a class of mine in 2017.
6:15 – 7:15 p.m. for those new to Tai Chi.
Classes are every Tuesday for eight weeks beginning 9/12.
Contact Blue Sky Therapeutic Yoga for registration details.
Tai Chi for Well-Being is pleased to be a NAMIWalks corporate sponsor. NAMI Minnesota is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with mental illness and their families. Go to www.namihelps.org to see what this awesome organization is doing to make this world a little easier to live in.
New fall class schedule, revised 9/9/17:
Welcome to Tai Chi for Well-Being’s new website! Please bear with me as I begin working on creating a website that is informative and useful. If you have any suggestions on what you would like to see on this site, please feel free to make suggestions!