Tai Chi Class FAQ
Note: My teaching schedule is currently full. If you would like me to let you know when I have an opening, please contact me.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that provides a gentle, full-body workout. When practiced mindfully, with quiet focus and deep breathing, Tai Chi becomes a form of meditation in motion. More info
What will I learn in Tai Chi class?
Each class starts with a simple qigong warm-up followed by step-by-step instruction in Yang Style 24 Tai Chi Form.
What is qigong?
Qigong is any exercise that cultivates and balances your qi (life energy). There are hundreds of different kinds of qigong. Since Tai Chi cultivates and balances qi, Tai Chi is both a type of qigong and a martial art.
What’s a “form”?
A form is a carefully choreographed sequence of Tai Chi movements. Because Tai Chi is generally practiced slowly and softly, it’s easy to forget that it’s a martial art. But beneath each flowing movement is a fighting technique. Over the years, Tai Chi martial artists put together sequences of Tai Chi fighting techniques in order to practice. These sequences are called forms. Today, people all over the world practice Tai Chi forms, not necessarily to fight, but as a fitness exercise to improve health and well-being.
Why learn 24 Form?
24 Form is a standardized form developed in China and practiced by millions of people all over the world. 24 Form takes 8 to 18 minutes to perform, depending on how slowly you go. If you start with a warm-up and practice it two or three times, you will have a satisfying workout and meditation for your day.
How long does it take to learn 24 Form?
Everyone learns at a different pace. That said, you should be prepared to devote at least four to six months to learning the basic shape of the form. Once you are familiar with the entire sequence, it takes years of practice to polish and refine it.
How should I practice Tai Chi, especially in the beginning when I only know a few moves?
Whether you know only a single Tai Chi move, a short sequence of moves or an entire form, the goal is the same: practice as much as you can remember, as best as you can, focusing completely on whatever you are working on at the moment. If there are parts of the form you haven’t learned yet, don’t worry about it. Stay focused on what you can remember. The rest will come later.
Are there videos that can help me remember the moves?
Yes. Online video clips are available to help you remember what you learned in class so that you can practice on your own at home.
Note: Videos are provided free of charge to current students only and are intended to supplement class, not replace them. In order to view them, you must attend class; to maintain access, you must be actively attending class.
What happens after 24 Form?
I practice and teach six different forms, mixing it up from day to day. Students who have completed 24 Form and wish to add to their Tai Chi repertoire may ask me about learning more advanced hand and weapon forms. However, the goal is not to learn as many forms as you can, but rather, to deepen your practice of whatever you are working on at the time, whether it’s a single Tai Chi move, a short sequence of moves, an entire form or a series of forms.
Are you a Tai Chi Master?
No. I am a Tai Chi practitioner and instructor who has maintained a daily Tai Chi practice for over 18 years. I studied Tai Chi for nine years with my teacher and taught as an assistant instructor in her school for over six years before branching out on my own.
Also, I am not a fighter. I believe it is important to understand the fighting technique behind each Tai Chi move, and so I explain martial applications in class. However, there is no sparring or fighting in my class. I practice and teach Tai Chi for health, well-being and enjoyment.
Finally, I have chronic pain and nerve damage, which affect my balance and mobility. Tai Chi has not cured me, and I make no claims of miraculous Tai Chi healing powers. However, in Tai Chi I have found a healthful activity that I can practice and enjoy, even with imperfect health.
Where are Tai Chi classes held?
Tai Chi classes meet at BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange) on 5th Ave. & 8th St. in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY.
What should I wear?
When practicing Tai Chi, it’s best to wear loose, comfortable clothing so as not to restrict your qi (life energy). I suggest wearing a loose-fitting t-shirt and loose exercise pants. It’s also a good idea to remove tight rings, wristwatches and belts.
For your feet, plan to wear socks, as street shoes are not permitted on the studio floor. Tai Chi slippers or Tai Chi shoes are also okay. You can find Tai Chi slippers in Chinatown or online. (Most people find the ones with the white cloth soles preferable to the ones with the brown plastic bottoms.) For information on appropriate Tai Chi shoes, please contact me.
How much do Tai Chi classes cost?
Tuition is $360 for 6 private classes or $180 for 6 semi-private classes. More info
What does “embracing the moon” mean?
“Embracing the moon” is one of the movements in the Tai Chi Sword form. It is also a lovely phrase that captures the beauty and serenity of Tai Chi.