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Working with what you learn – using the tools of ChiForLiving

March 19, 2014

Traditional Tai Chi is known to be extremely beneficial to seniors.  The gentle movements are easy on the joints while providing great stretching of the upper limbs and torso.  The practitioners lower body including the legs and hip are works extensively which builds a strong muscular foundation to carry and support the body in a balanced and fluid fashion.

That said, people ask me why do I teach the variation of exercise I have developed instead of traditional Tai Chi forms.

My reasoning is simple, and is based on a conversation I had with my mother in 2006.  In attempting to teach her using traditional methods she said “I don’t want to learn a culture or a language.  I just want to get from here to there easier than I can today”.

It seemed quite clear.  Mom wanted the benefits of the movement, but not the study of the forms that went with it. It was my job to make it possible for her to get the results she was looking for.

As a result I have created a system of movement using some specific “tools” inspired by the principals of the Tai Chi forms my Sensei taught me. The tools use a combination of physical feel and mental awareness which creates a mind / body connection for how to move and implement the movements in daily living.

  • A few of the tools are:
  • The shift of “center”
  • The rolling step
  • The backward step
  • The side step
  • The turn of the waist
  • The softness of joints
  • The diaphragmatic breath

Keep in mind, these are Tai Chi principals which in ChiForLiving movements are applied to daily living skills.  As part of the fitness toolbox, the principals are used to construct an individuals style of movement,  and become part of the daily living process, incorporation the methods into walking, reaching and well, moving in general.

For me, it is more important as a teacher to have the use the the exercise incorporated into living skills than strictly forms to be studied as an exercise modality.

 

 

 

 

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