An event every week that begins at 9:30 am on Tuesday, repeating until April 30, 2024
Thinking about learning Tai Chi? Our Tai Chi classes are ongoing, and students are welcome to start at any time. But if you would like to learn the form from the beginning, join us on Tuesday, January 23rd when we will introduce the opening moves and cover the entire form over approximately the next 3 months. Beginning students are also encouraged to participate in our Thursday Tai Chi class for additional instruction and practice.
Introduction to Tai Chi (Tai Chi I) | Tuesdays | 9:30am – 10:30am
Improve balance, strength, and flexibility while having a good time! This class teaches important principles of Tai Chi ( timing, balance, foot placement, movement) and provides exposure to the moves of the Yang 108 Form. The class is great for the student who has no prior Tai Chi experience or for students with prior experience in any form of Tai Chi who want to practice or learn the Yang Form. Students who want additional opportunities to practice and learn may concurrently enroll in both Tai Chi I and Tai Chi II.
Students who want additional opportunities to practice and learn may enroll in Tai Chi I and Tai Chi II concurrently.
Thinking About Learning Tai Chi?
What are the benefits of Tai Chi? Tai Chi is a form of exercise with significant mind
and body benefits that have been well-documented by western science. Tai Chi can
help calm and focus the mind, improve balance, and increase general fitness. “There is
growing evidence that this mind-body practice,…..has value in treating or preventing
many health problems” (See www.health.harvard.edu).
How do I learn Tai Chi? Tai Chi consists of sequences of movement that flow from
one to the next according to underlying principles. Initially, the principles and
sequences are best learned in a class with other students and a qualified instructor.
Eventually, as a student internalizes the movements and sequences, they will benefit
from practicing on their own. Books and videos can also be a useful supplement, but it
is difficult to rely on these for initial training.
Almost anyone can learn Tai Chi, even if they do not consider themselves well
coordinated, good at sports or athletic. Tai Chi is very adaptable to people of varying
abilities and limitations. As always, it is wise to consult with your medical provider before
undertaking any new form of exercise. Two related qualities that do seem important to
learning Tai Chi are persistence and patience. Many benefits from practicing Tai Chi can
be felt quickly, but committing the sequences to memory and incorporating the
subtleties of the movements into “muscle memory” takes time and practice. With 25 to
30 hours of practice and instruction (3 months of twice weekly classes) students often
have a growing sense of competence with the form. A very helpful attitude for the new
student learning Tai Chi is to enjoy the activities of the class and the fun of moving and
learning, without being overly concerned with mastery. If you do that, you will persist in
your Tai Chi journey because it brings you joy and then mastery will come. In the
philosophy of the Tao Te Ching, which informed the development of Tai Chi, “A good
traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving” (Tao Te Ching, translation by
Stephen Mitchell, Chapter 27).
What is Tai Chi at Friendly House Like? We are a welcoming group of neighbors and
friends from all over Portland enjoying the benefits and camaraderie of learning and practicing together. New
participants are always welcome. Currently, two classes in the Yang Style Long Form are offered. Although the
focus of each class is slightly different, both classes are suitable for beginner and
experienced students. If your schedule allows, students are encouraged to take both
classes so you have two opportunities to practice each week. Please see the Friendly
House schedule for times and details, or contact the instructor if you have questions.