Class Notes

Teaching Team member, Charles Peters practices Single Whip beside a creek.
Teaching Team member, Charles Peters practicing Single Whip.

During this period of Covid-19 isolation, All Good Tai Chi is pleased to offer tips and videos from our classes for home practice.  As always, work at your own pace and don’t hurt yourself.  Don’t stretch “until it hurts.”  Instead, follow good Tai Chi practice of exerting 70% and keeping 30% in reserve.

All Good Tai Chi assumes no liability for injuries.

(To scroll through the videos in a Player,  press the forward and back arrows:     )

Tai Chi Tips from the Teaching Team:

 

Tip from Charles: Kicks

Kicks

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite action."
Newton's Third Law of Motion.
So don't just lift your foot--
Sit to lift your heel.
Roll the tailbone to lift your knee.
Body down, knee up.
Think about making the tailbone lift your foot.
Don't kick too high, the hip flexor will make
the psoas muscles tight.

-C-

Tip from JJ: Body Posture

Body Posture

The principle of "verticality" is important for protection of the spine and skeleton as the bony structures of the body that suspend the organs, muscles, fascia and other connective tissues. Verticality refers to the head being centered over the torso that rests over the hips. Similarly, the hips are centered over the legs and feet as a base of support.

The spine is essential for maintaining verticality, acting like a string of pearls hanging from heaven down to the earth. The goal is to feel the spine elongating by releasing muscular tension while allowing natural curves to occur.

The waist and pelvic region/ hips connect the upper body and lower body in the central area of our bodies where we activate movement.

The “dantian” or center of energy lies in this region where we focus on breathing.

Muscular imbalances around the waist and pelvis may contribute to tightness or pain at the knees, back, and even the neck over time and become more common with age. The intent of slow, mindful movements is to: (1) release muscular tension, expand the spine, and activate the abdomen; (2) support greater flexibility of the muscles and joints, and (3) gradually increase strength in core muscles for stability and balance with repeated practice.

Feet provide the “foundation” for verticality and connection down into the earth. Aim to keep your weight over the balls or the "bubbling springs' of the feet. Keep the knees aligned over the toes, aimed in the same direction (not falling inside or outside of the feet).

One Tai Chi practitioner aptly described this standing posture as resting yourself on your skeletal structure gently without exerting any muscles.

-JJ-

Tip from JJ: Breathing

Breathing

Breathe comfortably, slowly and naturally through the nose with the lips closed. Focus on the natural rise and fall of the abdomen with each inhale and exhale without making an effort. If there's tension in any body part, imagine letting go of the tension as you breathe out.

Hope you stay healthy, comfortable, and safe with these key points in mind!

-JJ-

Tip from Chuck: It Starts in the Mind

It Starts in the Mind

Think of sitting into a posture, for example Rooster. You start thinking in your mind of lifting your leg and you let your intention flow down through the hip and you lift your leg.

But don't stop the intention in the hip. You will end up holding stress at that point. Let your intention flow on down through your stationery leg and out your foot to root in the ground. You will feel a much firmer footing.

-Chuck-

 

 

Practice Videos From All Good Tai Chi Classes:

–PDF list of the 37 Postures in Cheng man-Ch’ing’s Short Form

–Cheng man-Ch’ing’s Complete 37 Posture Short Form

–Immune System Warm-Up, Qi Gong Style

 

–PDF List of the 37 Postures in Cheng man-Ch’ing’s Short Form

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A list of the 37 Postures in Cheng man-Ch’ing’s Short Form. (Adapted from Cheng man-Ch’ing and Robert W. Smith, T’ai Chi, 1967.)  Also includes the 5 principles of Tai Chi, 10 important points and 3 sources of chi:

Cheng man-Ch’ing’s 37 Posture Short Form (PDF)

 

 

–Cheng man-Ch’ing’s Complete 37 Posture Short Form

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Kirk Talbott does Cheng man-Ching’s 37 Posture Short Form. Tom Flynn narrates and Benny the dog directs.

 

 

–Immune System Warm-Up, Qi Gong Style

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Warm up your immune system and greet the new day! Kirk Talbott leads this session, with Neila (the dog) providing water effects.