Tai Chi is a traditional Chinese martial art, both gentle and powerful. Now widely practiced for its health benefits, this ancient art has much to offer the modern practitioner.
There are many different styles of Tai Chi, each with their own individual characteristics. Mindful Body aims to present inclusive classes that are accessible to all. Helen tailors her teaching and content to the needs of the individuals in the class. The Mindful Body syllabus has a natural progression allowing new students to grasp the basics and offering more advanced practitioners the opportunity to deepen and extend their practice.
The sequences of movements characteristic of Tai Chi practice are known as Tai Chi Forms. Mindful Body teach Simplified Yang Style Tai Chi. Beginners usually start with the 8 posture form and progress to the 16 then the Compact 24 posture Form. More advanced students can also learn the 37 posture Cheng Man Ching Form.
Suitable for all ages and abilities the slow precise movements of Tai Chi can bring many benefits.
Improved respiratory function
Improved balance and coordination
Strengthening of the joints and increased mobility
Strengthening of the core muscles
A sense of well being and calm
Tai Chi also provides a workout for the brain. Learning and practicing the complex movements, develops the connection between mind and body and transports us away from our everyday lives. Often described as a moving meditation, the deep focus that is required naturally quietens the mind.
Helen also teaches Qigong in her classes (mainly Shi Ba Shi Qigong). This holds many of the same benefits as Tai Chi, but is much simpler to learn. The combination of breath and slow repetitive movement is deeply relaxing. It can also have a transformative effect on health and well-being by restoring and improving the flow of the bodies vital energy (known as Chi in Chinese Medicine).