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Posts Tagged ‘Tai chi’

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Tai Chi can be done at Any Age. Image by Wikipdia.

One of my most popular posts is about Tai Chi and the Wii Fit. As far as I know, there are still no Tai Chi modules for the Wii Fit. I also wrote a post about schools offering Tai Chi in Chicago. But I missed one.  I was recently contacted by a Tai Chi school is in Chinatown, Calm Chicago. to let me know about their classes and school. For my Chicago-based readers,  thought I’d give you more info about this school so those of you that don’t yet have a teacher or place to study Tai Chi could check them out. (And I don’t get any freebies or advertising revenue to tell you about it. Just passing on the info!)



The Calm Chicago center offers three types of classes: yang 24 short form, 18-form qigong and yi jin jig.  They also offer classes in meditation, sitting, standing, walking. They also have a Facebook page and wordpress blog. Find out how to get to the school here.

What does Calm Chicago Offer?

From the Calm Chicago website: Teaching and practice at Calm Chicago focuses on the simple and practical. We offer stress reduction and whole body health via taiji, meditation and qigong. Our teaching leans on a traditional pattern, passed from generation to generation, teacher to student. We emphasize learning by direct experience not from reading in a book or analyzing with the mind. Our classes allow you to : Restore the unity of your mind and body. Enter the natural peace and quiet of your own mind. Balance, strengthen and relax your whole body. Get healthy and stay healthy. Dump stress. Think more clearly. Respond more calmly. Leave feeling refreshed, invigorated and calm. We offer group classes, private lessons and corporate stress reduction programs.  Steady programs of stress reduction utilizing taiji, qigong and meditation, helps keep employees happier and healthier.

Find out more about the Calm Chicago teacher, Hillary here.

Cost of the classes is $20 a class for drop-ins and $100 a month for a once a week class. (Note: There is a one time membership fee of $50 to cover liability insurance. It looks like its cheaper to drop in after that though unless you have 5 days a month to attend! More tuition info here.

Beginner classes are offered on these days and times: Saturday 3:30-4:45pm and Sunday 10-11:15 a.m. Beginner classes offer a gentle introduction to 18-form qigong, Yang 24 form taiji and meditation.

Advanced classes are offered on Sundays from 11:30am -1pm.

Calm Chicago Blog

Read about the upcoming (4-30-11) World Tai Chi Day in the their blog here.

For a great explanation of what Tai Chi Is (from the what it’s not perspective!) click here.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I’ve been getting a lot of hits on my blog lately for my Wii Fit Tai Chi post. I regret to report I still haven’t found a Tai Chi program for Wii Fit. I wrote Nintendo and asked if there had any plans for a Tai Chi program. Their response was, “We don’t have any announcements about a Wii Fit Module.” When I asked what this means the response from Nintendo Customer Service was that they don’t know of any such programs being developed and wouldn’t be able to tell me until the product is actually ready for release. They also told me they don’t accept (and other game developers don’t accept) unsolicited ideas for their games.   But fret not, loyal readers, in this post I provide some other resources for Tai Chi (until Nintendo or EA or another gaming company produces a Wii Fit module for Tai Chi. Or a Tai Chi module for Wii Fit).

Tai Chi Health with Tricia Wu link here. According to her website, Trica’s mission is to help make tai chi and qigong accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ability or physical condition. As a pioneer in integrating tai chi into therapeutic exercise and pain management, she have collaborated with health care professionals to create innovative programs and materials that are designed to enhance our collective well being. All of her programs and materials are  based in study and daily practice in Yang Style Cheng Man Ch’ing lineage tai chi, and over three decades of experience teaching tai chi to thousands of students and professionals.

Tai Chi Books

To learn Tai Chi from a book check out this book at Amazon: Tai Chi for Beginners and the 24 Forms

Tai Chi DVD’s

To learn Tai Chi from a DVD check out this highly-rated DVD from Amazon for only $14.99: Scott Cole: Discover Tai Chi For Beginners
OR check out Samual Barnes also highly-rated DVD for only $8.49 Element: Tai Chi for Beginners .

High Tech Tai Chi

Demand Video of Tai Chi Fundamentals by Jesse Tsao for $1.99 on Amazon: Tai Chi Fundamentals for Beginners

For those that want to learn Tai Chi via Kindle, check out this 5-star Amazon reviewer-rated product by Ramel Rones for $8.79: Sunrise Tai Chi: Simplified Tai Chi for Health & Longevity

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Tai Chi in the Grange
Image by Darren // DA Creative Photography via Flickr

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

If you want to try a tai chi class and are not an in home video/dvd afficionado, there are classes around the Chicagoland area you may want to check out. While not an exhaustive list, it does give you a few ideas of where to look for tai chi instruction.

Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA

Midwest Branch of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society
A charitable organization that promotes the dual cultivation of body and mind.

They offer instruction in the Taoist Tai Chi Society® internal arts of health including tai chi chuan in the following locations:

Chicago Center
1922 W. Montrose Ave, Chicago IL 60613
773 275-5992
Arlington Heights Center
332 E. Golf Road,
Arlington Heights IL 60005
847-734-6044

Lombard
United Methodist Church
155 S Main St
(Corner Main and Maple)
Lombard, IL
630-268-9152
lombard.il@taoist.org

• Elmhurst
Elmhurst Presbyterian Church
367 Spring Road
Elmhurst, IL 60126
630-268-9152

The Tai Chi Center of Chicago

4043 N. Ravenswood, Suite 228
Chicago, IL 60613
773.396.2653

4-Week Introductory Class

    Cost: $50.00 a month for one class a week (4 classes) plus a one time registration fee of $10.00.
    Requirements: Come 15 minuted early on your first day to register. Wear loose comfortable clothing.

Ongoing Tai Chi Program [Beginning Level I – Advanced III]
Cost:$80.00 a month.
All forms other than the 64-posture Tai Chi Chuan and Tan Tui are initially taught in special seminars and will incur additional fees.

Link to their website here.

Durgerberg Academy of Martial Arts & Fitnexx, Inc.

Chicago Martial Arts Classes

Link to Dugerberg website here.

Stirling Tai Chi

(773) 252-74431123 N. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60622
http://www.stirlingtaichi.com/curriculum.html

Northwestern Memorial Hospital:

Northwestern Memorial Hospital – Feinberg and Galter Pavilions
251 E. Huron
Chicago, IL 60611

Slow, steady movements encourage the flow of “Chi” or vital energy. Performed in a standing position. Tai Chi helps reduce tension and builds strength and balance. It is ideal for those with arthritis or joint pain. Instructor : Raye Bemis

For more information or to register:
Phone: 1-877-926-4664
Link to February class sign up here.

Forest Park (Yoga & Healing & Tai Chi) Dahn Yoga Studio

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7233 Madison St Ste. #2. Forest Park. IL 60130
Phone : 708-771-9642

Website link here.

Clark (Body + Brain franchise center) Dahn Yoga Studio

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2732 N. Clark St. Chicago. IL 60614
Phone : 773-755-9566

Website link here.

La Grange (Body + Brain franchise center) Dahn Yoga Studio

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108 W Burlington Ave. La Grange. IL 60525
Phone : 708-482-0571

Website link here.

Glenview Qi /Ki Gong Therapy Dahn Yoga Studio

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2630 Golf Road. Glenview. IL 60025
Phone : 847-998-1377

Website link here.

Schaumburg (Body + Brain Franchise Center) Dahn Yoga Studio

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1063 N. Salem Dr. Schaumburg. IL 60194
Phone : 847-882-6980

Website link here.

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Outdoor practice in Beijing's Temple of Heaven.
Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Unfortunately, Wii Fit does not have any Tai Chi training. At least,  not yet. Some of my clients are clammering for a tai chi module for Wii Fit, or even a separate Wii game with Tai Chi. At this time, however, if you want to learn Tai Chi, you’ll have to do it the “old fashioned way,” with a video or DVD.

What is Tai Chi Anyway?

According to the Mayoclinic: “Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. To do tai chi, you perform a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.

Tai chi has many different styles, such as yang and wu. Each style may have its own subtle emphasis on various tai chi principles and methods. There are also variations within each style. Some may focus on health maintenance, while others focus on the martial arts aspect of tai chi.

The result of all this variation is that there are more than 100 possible movements and positions with tai chi, many of which are named for animals or nature. Regardless of the variation, all forms of tai chi include rhythmic patterns of movement that are coordinated with breathing to help you achieve a sense of inner calm. The concentration required for tai chi forces you to live in the present moment, putting aside distressing thoughts.”

Read the entire article about Tai Chi from the Mayoclinic here.

David Carradine‘s AM & PM Tai Chi Workout for Beginners (1999)

One of the highest rankings videos for Tai Chi on Amazon is the David Carradine Tai Chi Workout.

While David Carradine is no longer with us, his Tai Chi routines are preserved on DVD and have great rewview. Plus who wouldn’t want to learn a martial art from an old friend, aka Kung Fu from the old television show of theh same name.

Here’s What Amazon Reviewers Say About David’s AM & PM Tai Chi Workout DVD:

• Both the Chi Engery Workout and this one include Arnold Tayam as the instructor. David Carradine does all the talking and the other students and the instructor follow along.

There are two 1-hour workouts on this DVD. The AM is really called Tai Chi for the Mind and can be done either in the AM or the PM. You work on your Chi Engergy similar to David’s other DVD called Chi Energy Workout. You start out with stretching to warm up your muscles, then you move on to the stances, Tai Chi Ball movements, and The 8 Moves of Chi Kung. You end your practice with Dan Tien Ball Rotation. It is a wonderful way to get in touch with your internal energies and is a very gentle workout for your body.

The PM workout is really called Tai Chi for the Body. Again, you could do this workout any time of day. You start out with stretching, move on to individual stances, and then it is put together in Combination and The Complete Form. I am still working on the individual stances and have begun working on the Combination, which ties all the stances together. I will wait to use the Complete Form segment until I feel comfortable with the movements.

You also get a wonderful meditation with David Carradine. I love his voice and even though it is a still picture on the TV during the mediation, it is okay since your eyes are closed. I lay down during the mediation, but you can also sit in a cross-legged position, or in a chair.

• I bought this DVD because I need to regain some agility and lose some weight. I limbered up after about two weeks. The weight loss will take longer, but I’m in no hurry. It is a good program for someone who has poor coordination and zero athletic ability, and hates to exercise.

• The tape is easier to follow than I expected. Following David Carradine’s voice is very soothing. My doctors have recommended Tai Chi for my arthritis, to help movement but also for the breathing and relaxing capabilities. Don’t get me wrong Tai Chi is difficult to learn because itself is very complex, but the tape is easier to follow than others I have seen.
Read more Amazon reviews here. Order the DVD from Amazon here.

Or go online and learn Tai Chi for free using this online program by Al Simon, here.

Check out this article on Wii Fit Plus and Tai Chi. No,  Wii has not added a Tai Chi module as of yet. But this article does show some Tai Chi moves and suggestions for using Wii Fit Plus to make movements similar to Tai Chi.

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Relaxation Exercises to Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
from Helpguide.org

Deep Breathing

Stress Relief: Yoga, Meditation, and Other Relaxation Techniques

The body’s natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga can help you activate this relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity. What’s more, they also serve a protective quality by teaching you how to stay calm and collected in the face of life’s curveballs.

The Relaxation Response

The relaxation response is a mentally active process that leaves the body relaxed. It is best done in an awake state so don’t practice relaxation when you are very sleepy. The Relaxation Response IS trainable and becomes more profound with practice.

The stress response floods your body with chemicals that prepare you for “fight or flight.” But while the stress response is helpful in true emergency situations where you must be alert, it wears your body down when constantly activated. You can’t avoid all stress, but you can counteract its negative effects by learning how to evoke the relaxation response.

The relaxation response brings your system back into balance: deepening your breathing, reducing stress hormones, slowing down your heart rate and blood pressure, and relaxing your muscles. In addition to its calming physical effects, research shows that the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity.

Starting a Relaxation Response Practice

A variety of relaxation techniques help you achieve the relaxation response. Those whose stress-busting benefits have been widely studied include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, visualization, yoga, and tai chi.

Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isn’t difficult. But it takes daily practice to get full benefit of their stress-relieving power. Most stress experts recommend setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice. If you’d like to get even more stress relief, aim for 30 minutes to an hour.

More Relaxation Techniques from www.helpguide.org

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