Tai chi is an internal art that integrates mind and body, cultivates internal energy and promotes health and wellbeing. Our emphasis is on tai chi for health and the beginners’ forms we learn are specially modified to address complaints such as arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis. Dr Paul Lam, a Sydney GP and international authority on tai chi for health, designed the modified forms. He was convinced tai chi could help his patients and his programs are now taught worldwide because they are effective, easy to learn and great fun.
Studies have shown tai chi works to improve muscular strength, flexibility and fitness. Muscle strength is important for supporting and protecting joints and is essential for normal physical function. Flexibility exercises enable people to move more easily and facilitate circulation of body fluid and blood, which enhances healing. Fitness is important for overall functioning of the heart, lungs, and muscles. In addition to these components, tai chi movements emphasise the importance of weight transference, which helps balance and prevents falls.
Studies have shown that tai chi is very effective at reducing stress, pain, stiffness and fatigue and, because it is an exercise form involving the mind and body, tai chi may also protect cognitive ability. The flowing movements of tai chi contain inner strength and power — the power for healing and wellness. Tai chi has been described as moving meditation – and also as moving medication.
In the depth class, we build on the forms and tackle some of the competition forms such as Yang 24 and 42 International Competition Forms. Students in this class have done the health forms and, as a result, have the strength, stamina and balance to tackle the more challenging competition sets.