T'ai Chi

   - The Power of Moving Sense-ably

While T'ai Chi can be quite helpful for a variety of physical health issues, I have found it extremely beneficial in bringing an increased level of mindful awareness into everyday activities. By first practicing the discipline of slowing way down in doing the circular, fluid movements of T'ai Chi, I become able - over time - to transfer that more conscious awareness of movement into almost any physical activity, from washing dishes, to typing, to driving a car, etc. Not only are any of these activities then capable of being done with a much greater level of conscious awareness, they're then often done with far less stress and effort, and frequently done more skillfully. Another, and somewhat curious, aspect of this shift is that - despite typically doing such activities at a somewhat slower pace - they nevertheless often get done in either the same amount of time - or even less - than previously needed! Such a deal - practicing effortlessness definitely has its rewards!

A Different Teaching Focus:
T'ai Chi teachers have many different orientations as to how they teach, partly because they've learned it from the many different T'ai Chi styles available. Some teachers emphasize physical stretching, some the martial arts aspect, some the dance aspect, etc. My focus - particularly since the bulk of what I teach I learned at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA - is to focus on the awareness-enhancing ability of T'ai Chi. Teaching the form (the actual movements of T'ai Chi) is, of course, important, but it is the principles and essence of T'ai Chi - that sense of focus, fluidity and flow that underly the form, acquired as you practice - that I feel is most fundamental. I also incorporate other awareness-building activities into my teaching, from such practices as Charlotte Selver's Sensory Awareness work, and Feldenkrais work and Alexander Technique, into the sessions. 

Aids In Learning T'ai Chi
However, speaking of the form, I have found that a number of people who previously tried learning the T'ai Chi form had real difficulty. Though the moves may
appear to be relatively simple to do, in reality there's a lot going on in the moves - one arm & hand doing one thing, the other doing something significantly different, and the feet and legs supporting the body in yet another pattern - at least this happens in some parts of the movement sequence. These movements have been carefully designed over many centuries to help us re-connect with our deeper movement intelligence and power hard-wired into us all. This occasional complexity of the form is why I carefully break down the more involved movements into separate parts, so we can practice first one part, then another, then take time to blend these parts together. If you've tried to learn T'ai Chi before and found the complexity of the moves too difficult, I really hope you'll give this approach a try. I've also prepared some aids you can take home to help you practice outside of class.

I've had extensive experience in teaching popular semester-long T'ai Chi classes back in Kalamazoo, Michigan - 3 years at Portage Senior Center, and 6 years through both Borgess Medical Center's Integrative Medicine department, and as a 1-credit class at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

I of course wish to make it quite clear that I am not a doctor; nothing on this page - or anywhere in this website - is intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, mitigate or cure any disease or condition. Any specific health problems should be referred to a qualified health care provider.

Upcoming Classes...
For current information, email me at wellnessgrows@yahoo.com, or give me a call at (828) 545-8735.


Waves at sunset - from the Kirk Creek campground along the Big Sur, California coast 
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