An antidote to combat the stresses and anxieties.
Tai Chi Chuan is a wonderful exercise for you if you are looking for a low impact gentle exercise routine.
Tai Chi, sometimes called Taiji or Tai Chi Chuan, is a form of exercise and moving mediation that has been practiced for centuries in China for its holistic health benefits. As a soft internal Chinese Art, it is suitable for all ages and abilities. The soft gentle movements help with muscle relaxation and combined with flowing movements assist in combating the anxieties and stresses of modern life.
We regularly run a beginners Tai Chi class or beginners course to help people to learn this fascinating art that can provide a complete system for physical and mental health through a combination of movement, mindfulness and meditation.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi or Taiji originated in China and has been practiced for hundreds of years by many people around the world. There have been many scientific and academic studies on the efficacy of Tai Chi in providing a comprehensive method of mental and physical well-being through a combination of mindfulness, meditation and relax movements.
There are several main styles of Tai Chi worldwide now, each with its own focus and differences. However, all of the major Tai Chi styles have more common ground than differences. All will improve your health, help you to move more mindfully and gracefully and alleviate stress. All of them use slow flowing circular movements.
The main styles, in order of popularity are Yang style Tai Chi, Wu style Tai Chi, Chen style Tai Chi, Wu Hao or Hao style Tai Chi and Sun style Tai Chi. Our Basingstoke Tai Chi classes practice the Yang family Tai Chi style.
To book your FREE taster session get in touch with us:
The benefits of learning Tai Chi
Regularly learning Tai Chi has a number of benefits, to our members from the Basingstoke area, including:
- Improved balance
- Relaxation and well-being
- Improved Posture
- Mental Awareness and Concentration
- A low impact form of exercise
- Increased Core Strength
- Injury and post operative rehabilitation
Through skilful and thoughtful Tai Chi practice we develop the skills and mindset to help us to take control and responsibility for own health and the clarity and focus to empower our lives. Consequently, there are numerous studies that have shown have effective Tai Chi is for reducing stress and anxiety in addition to helping people to cope with long term physical conditions through its therapeutic healing properties. There have been studies demonstrating how taking part in a Tai Chi class helps to lessen the risk of falls or tripping over.
Tai Chi classes can help you take control of your life and health!
Medical Studies concerning Tai Chi
There are many medical studies that have demonstrated the efficacy of Tai Chi to help people cope with chronic conditions. Moreover, regular practice of Tai Chi has also been known to alleviate health problems associated with aging.
Additionally, studies have shown the efficacy of Taiji in helping with the prevention of falls. Because Tai chi integrates low physical impact body movements with deep breathing and mental concentration, relaxation is possible, thus making it an alternative option to conventional anxiety treatments.
The online web definition of Tai Chi from Princeton.edu provides a good outline of some of the major aspects of the art – “A Chinese system of slow meditative physical exercise designed for relaxation and balance and health.”
What do we learn in Tai Chi?
You will learn a syllabus that is suitable for anyone of any age or ability and is structured to allow you to progress at a pace that encourages you to develop at your own speed without any pressure.
The teachers that you will meet use the most modern progressive coaching methods to teach this ancient Chinese art ensuring that modern sports science and teaching skills are used to pass on this fascinating soft Chinese Art. Our Tai Chi teachers are Level 2 or Level 3 qualified Tai Chi coaches with the British Chinese Council for Martial Arts (BCCMA,) which is Sport England’s National Governing Body for Chinese Martial Arts in England. Our head coach is also a tutor for the BCCMA, educating their coaches to become qualified teachers.
The curriculum you will study includes:
Neigong, which can also be spelt Nei Kung or Neigung is a practice within Tai Chi of breathing and meditation by nurturing the physical stillness of the body and deliberate conscious movement. This is intended to release any tension within the body and to relax body and mind.
Fundamentally Neigong practice in our Basingstoke Tai Chi classes is designed to develop high levels of concentration or focus, co-ordination and fundamental Tai Chi skills.
Qigong, also known as Qi Gong or Chi Gung, is a systemised method of harmonising the body’s posture, its movements and breathing.
The practice of Qigong is carried out with very slow yet flowing movements with an emphasis on using the whole body whilst maintaining good body condition and posture. Essentially it can be summarised as the body, breath and mind working together in harmony. This is Tai Chi.
The levels of Tai Chi
Tai Chi for Beginners in Basingstoke
When you start learning Tai Chi with us, you will learn the principles of how to move in a smooth flowing way whilst practicing Tai Chi forms.
The first form that you will learn takes around 4 minutes to complete and consists of the Grasp Sparrows tail sequence performed in multiple directions .
This sequence is an important part of the Long Form or Yang Chen Fu Form as it is repeated multiple times within the form. This is the next form that we teach beginners to Tai Chi in Basingstoke. We break this form down into three sections to make it easier to learn and to practice. Each section is then further broken down into discrete portions to aid learning, how fast you progress in each is down to the individual with no pressure from the teachers.
Intermediate Tai Chi
At the Intermediate stage of your Tai Chi experience, you will be well on the way to refining the second and third sections of Yang Chen Fu and deepening your knowledge. At this stage we are looking to become much more award of our own body and how it feels and moves whilst performing the form. We try to feel the correct posture and placement of the arms and legs and how this helps us to do better Tai Chi.
Advanced Tai Chi
It is at this stage that we start learn new forms and new skills within these forms.
- Long Boxing – Chong Chuan
- Two Person Form – Sanshou
- Broadsword – Dao
- Double Edge Sword – Jian
- Spear – Qiang
- Fan – Shan
- Two Person Forms – Da Lu and San Shou
At this stage in our training we are now ready to start studying the move advanced technical concepts of Tai Chi and working to harmonise our body and Tai Chi so that the intention of our movement is mindful and that our body and movement supports the intention. At this stage, your Tai Chi practice is your own and we encourage you to explore how to improve it and make it work better for you, so that in fact you are not thinking about doing Tai Chi, you are just doing Tai Chi.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Am I too old to do Tai Chi
Our Tai Chi Classes are very popular with Basingstoke and Deane residents because of the slow gentle flowing nature of Tai Chi.
The movements are easy on the body, there is no strain on the body or expectations of becoming breathless or ‘working out too hard.’
We have many older adults taking part in classes from 50 years old to over 90 years old. Come and try a class to learn this graceful art and meet some of our other members.
I have a chronic medical condition, can I still do Tai Chi
We receive many referrals from GPs or hospitals for people who need to do some low impact exercise to help exercise their body. The Yang style Tai Chi system of gentle movements, stretches and breathing techniques can help to relax your body and mind. We always recommend that if you are not sure about exercise, then you should speak with your GP or other medical professional.
Can Tai Chi help with anxiety?
Many people find that Tai Chi is very beneficial for stress or anxiety relief. The practice of Tai Chi with its focus on gentle exercises can provide a physical way of warning off stress and anxiety. The calming Neigong and Qigong exercise with their meditative breathing are very calming and relaxing (we teach them to children to help them calm down) way to release physical and mental tension. They can also be great to do just before bed to help you to get to sleep faster.
Contact us to book yourself in to try one of our free beginners Tai Chi classes.
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