White Crane Tai Chi

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        What Is Chi or Qi?

    Thousands of years ago Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) postulated that the human body could be an energetic vessel.  Recently western science has confirmed this assumption.  For many this energy is the life force called “Chi” or “Qi”. At White Crane Tai Chi we emphasize slowing down, relaxing the body, and embracing mindfulness as a path to experiencing your own chi through the  traditional practices of  Meditation, Chi Gung and Tai Chi.

    The Meditation practice in we share is a form of basic relaxation and mindfulness.  It is somatic practice that invites the participants to come into relationship with the internal sensations of our body through awareness of our breath, heart and body.  Often during the stress associated with normal life events we lose awareness of our body and orient to our cognitive mind. When life stress does not slow down, we often lose this body awareness completely.  The ability to move comfortably between a mind or psyche centered awareness to a body or soma centered awareness is a first step in slowing down and experiencing the subtle currents of Chi in our own body.  Our meditation exercise is a great tool for cultivating this awareness.

What Is Chi Gung?

    Chi Gung is a broad term for the study of life force in our bodies.  In the last few thousand years the Chinese practitioners developed many techniques to cultivate and experience chi.  To help students come into relationship with their own energetic body  we teach a variation of the chi gung classic called ‘The Eight Pieces of the Brochade’.  These simple standing exercises are a great introduction into the art of building life force for health and wellness.   Like the meditation we share these techniques take us into an deeper relationship with our mind, body and chi.

What Is Tai Chi?

    Tai Chi Ch'uan is an exercise designed to help people gain and maintain vitality by allowing chi to move more efficiently through the body.  There are multiple forms of Tai Chi that we study.  In our beginning class we learn the 24 Posture Simplified T’ai Chi Ch’uan Form that was created specifically for beginners in 1956.  Next the intermediate students study two forms.  The 42 Posture T’ai Chi Ch’uan form, also called the Competition Form since it is the standard Wushu form. Developed in 1989 by Grandmaster Li De Yin for the Chinese Sports Committee the 42 posture form combines the movements of Chen, Sun, Wu and Yang style of traditional T’ai Chi Ch’uan.  It has received positive reviews for fluid yet challenging movement that energizes the body with Chi. The second intermediate form is a shortened version of the classic 108 posture Yang family long form. It is the 37 Yang Family Short Form created by Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing and has many health benefits as well as martial applications.  Once the students has these three short forms accomplished then we teach the complete Yang Family Long Form. Tai Chi Jian, or Tai Chi sword forms, are taught for those looking to incorporate the fluidity and grace associated with moving with the sword.   These forms include the 32 Posture Sword Form, the 42 Posture Sword Form and the Wudong Sword Form