By D.D. Hilke
Tai Chi sessions will be held most Monday evenings and Wednesday mornings at WUUC, beginning the week of Jan. 9. I’m hoping you can join us for either or both days!
- Monday evening sessions 7:30 – 8:30 pm. Arrive as early as 7:15 and stay as late as 8:45.
- Wednesday morning sessions 8:00 – 9:00 am. Arrive as early as 7:45 and stay as late as 9:15.
You are encouraged to come a few minutes before the official start time to sign in, change your shoes, if needed, warm your body up (although we’ll do some of that, too) or just say hello.
What to wear: Comfortable loose fitting clothes. If you feel comfortable, and you can wave your arms around, turn your hips and shoulders, walk around, and bend your knees a bit… you’ve got the right clothes on.
What about shoes: No need to buy special shoes. Comfortable, flat soled shoes that won’t slip off your feet should do fine; flat soled means no heals. The floor of the sanctuary is cold, but if you want to go barefoot, you can try. Wearing stocking feet is not recommended (you might slip, yes?). Wearing shoes with treads is OK for now, but later, if you want to learn the second section, you might find them too grippy. Ideal (but no necessary) are shoes with fairly smooth flat soles.
Can I do this safely? You and your doctor are best judges of that. Most folks, however, can do Tai Chi, making adjustments as needed for their own limitations. Some folks even practice a modified version of the form in a chair.
Yang Family Style Tai Chi is practiced in slow motion. As you learn and interact with the form, most folks find it helps their body learn more about how it can move, become better aligned, find better balance, become stronger, more extended, and lots more.
In our sessions, we will all be mindful of individual and group safety. In particular, we’ll check ourselves for proper alignment, so we can support ourselves safely and not stress our knees or other joints.
What will we be learning/practicing? You’ll be learning the first section (16 movements) of the Yang Family 103 (movement) Long Form. Below are a couple of videos of the first section as performed by two of my teachers.
- Section One performed by Nancy Lucero – Nancy is a local Woodinville resident who has studied with Master Yang Jun and Fang (Hong) Laoshi since 2000, shortly after Yang Jun emigrated to the United States.
- Section One performed by Master Yang Jun – Master Yang Jun is the 6th Generation descendant of the creator of Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan and the future bearer of the Yang Family heritage. In August of 1999 Yang Jun moved to the Seattle area with his wife Fang Hong to formally begin working for the International Association and to establish a school in Seattle, now in Redmond. He is certified as the highest level national judge in China and served as the head judge at the 1998 National Tai Chi Chuan Competition in China.