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Establish Life

“Seek perfection sincerely. Establish life. When you have settled the spirit, you may cultivate the ch’i.”

from T’ai Chi Classics translated by Waysun Liao

For Yang Style Tai Chi Classes in Los Angeles visit http://tcsociety.com/

In motion the whole body should be light and agile…

In motion the whole body should be

In motion the whole body should be light and agile,
with all parts of the body linked
as if threaded together.

Attributed to Chang San-feng (est. 1279 -1386)
as researched by Lee N. Scheele

Marionette Detail – Reconnect: Zíta Rá by Dominic’s pics, on Flickr

Tai Chi in Studio City, CA – Choosing a Style

Once you decide to practice Tai Chi in Studio City, CA, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is what style to practice. There are many different styles of Tai Chi to choose from, each of which have many similarities and differences. With that said, no matter which style you choose, you will always reap the benefits of improved health, reduced stress, and increased gracefulness. Let’s take a quick look at the top 5 Tai Chi styles to help you choose which is right for you.

Style #1 – Yang Style Tai Chi

Yang Style Tai Chi is the most popular and widely practiced style of Tai Chi around the world. Within America and England alone, there are over 20 different variations of the Yang style. Each of these variations place emphasis on different technical points, but still have the same basic principles in common. If you are to practice Tai Chi in Studio City, CA with the TCSociety, this is the style of Tai Chi that you will be learning.

Style #2: Wu Style Tai Chi

The second most common style of Tai Chi is the Wu Style. Derived from founder Chuan You, this style only has three main variations. While this style is a variant of the Yang style, it is different in that it emphasizes small compact movements as opposed to the large movements emphasized in Yang style. Together, Yang and Wu Tai Chi comprise over 80% of all Tai Chi schools.

Style #3: Chen Tai Chi

When practicing Tai Chi in Studio City, CA, you might also come across the Chen style. This is the original style of Tai Chi. In fact, it is the style of Tai Chi that the Yang was created from. Unlike most versions of Tai Chi, not all movements in the Chen style are slow. Rather, slow movements are combined with fast and explosive ones. Chen practitioners are much more difficult to find than Yang and Wu practitioners.

Style #4: Hao Tai Chi

This style of Tai Chi is extremely rare. It is very unusual to see it practiced in China, and it is virtually non-existent in the West. This style of Tai Chi places more focus on internal chi movements than it does on physical motions. It is considered to be a very advanced form of Tai Chi that is practiced by only those with a significant background in the art.

Style #5: Combination Tai Chi

After Yang and Wu, combination styles are the third most popular style of Tai Chi. These styles mix and match movements from the other 4 styles. They also incorporate movements from other styles of martial art such as hsing-i and bagua.

As said previously, if you decide to practice Tai Chi in Studio City, CA with TCSociety, you will be practicing the Yang style of Tai Chi. You may also be able to find several practitioners of the Wu style, and possibly even the combination styles. With that said, it will be difficult to find a practitioner who teaches Chen or Hao Tai Chi.

What is Tai Chi Chuan?

If you were to walk into a room full 25 Tai Chi instructors or students and ask the question "What is Tai Chi Chuan?", you would get 25 completely different answers. This is because Tai Chi is multi-dimensional and each instructor places emphasis on different aspects of Tai Chi in their teachings. Let’s take a look at a few of the different answers that you might receive if you were to ask this question.

When translated, Tai Chi stands for the "Supreme Ultimate Force". It is a form of martial art that not only teaches how to defend oneself, but also teaches practices how to reach an inner sense of calm and peace. When practicing Tai Chi, you will find that it integrates a variety of slow, choreographed movements that are designed to simulate hand-to-hand combat. Depending on your level of expertise, some of these sequences can be as short as 16 different movements. For more experienced Tai Chi practicers, sequences can reach up to 108 movements or more.

There are several different aspects that are characteristic of all Tai Chi Chuan teachings. Here are a few:

1) Relaxation – While many forms of martial art focus on strong, hard movements, each movement performed in Tai Chi is designed to use a minimum amount of muscle activity. This makes it easier for individuals of all ages to learn, as it only places a small amount of tension on your muscles.

2) Slow movements – Tai Chi is a form of self-defense. But to those who practice Tai Chi, self-defense is not all about punching and kicking – it is about developing a self-awareness. According to Tai Chi masters, the slow movements used within the art help you to become more aware of the subtle changes within your body, allowing you to develop an "internal power".

3) Coordination – There are many different styles of Tai Chi, each of which achieve coordination in different ways. With that said, all Tai Chi Chuan styles reach the same consensus that the art form helps the body to work in harmony with itself.

4) Mindfulness – The art of Tai Chi is performed in such as way that the practicer is aware of each movement they make. The quieter your mind is, the more aware you will be. As such, Tai Chi teaches you to clear your mind and focus on what is put before you.

5) Breathing –  Breathing is "the link that ties everything together". In Tai Chi, emphasis is placed on deep and natural breathing (otherwise referred to as "abdominal breathing"). Breathing will help you to become more aware, and will help to release stress and tension, bringing your body and mind to an inner peace.

So, what exactly is “Tai Chi Chuan?” It is a combination of many things, making it difficult to sum up in one short article. If you want to learn what Tai Chi is, the best way to do so is practice it for yourself. If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to try out Tai Chi, contact TCSociety.com today.

Why Tai Chi Classes in Southern California are the Best Exercise for Elderly

Whether we actually do it or not, we all know that exercise is a healthy part of every daily routine. There are many different ways that you can exercise by walking, bike riding, running, climbing mountains, or playing sports. Unfortunately, not all of us are young and fit enough to run a marathon each day. The good news is, you can still exercise! Tai Chi classes in Southern California are considered one of the best ways to exercise each day, without straining your limbs, joints, or muscles.

An ancient form of martial art, Tai Chi looks like a cross between a slow motion ballet and shadow boxing. It combines graceful movements and mental focus together, helping people to improve things such as strength, agility, and balance. Because Tai Chi is a slow moving form of martial art that places a minimal amount of strain on your body, it is considered the perfect exercise for the elderly who may not be able to move well as they once did.

Tai Chi Classes in Southern California hold many benefits including both spiritual and psychological advantages. And while many practitioners praise these benefits, the majority of researchers focus on the benefits that Tai Chi has for the body. According to researchers, Tai Chi is extremely beneficial to anyone, especially older adults who are relatively inactive. For the elderly, Tai Chi has been shown to help reduce falls and give frail individuals a way to exercise without straining their bodies.

There are many different styles of Tai Chi available, but if you are to train with the TCSociety, you will be learning the Yang Style of Tai Chi. This is one of the most popular forms of Tai Chi and begins with a series of controlled movements known as "forms". The best part about Tai Chi is that you can move at your own pace. When you practice Tai Chi, you are not under any pressure to learn quickly. Rather, you are encouraged to learn at your own speed.

Like any other exercise, the effects of Tai Chi classes in Southern California will not be seen overnight. Rather, it will take a few months of regular practice before you begin to see results. With that said, once the results do begin to set in, it will be the gateway to a completely new lifestyle. Tai Chi has been known to have many benefits to individuals of all ages, increasing self-esteem, improving balance, reducing stress, and opening up the avenue to a healthier lifestyle.

For older adults, Tai Chi is the ideal form of exercise. The health benefits associated with Tai Chi are many, and the forms are slow enough that they do not place an immense amount of strain on your muscles like many other martial arts do. If you are an older individual who is looking to become more active, Tai Chi may be exactly what you are looking for. Come out for Tai Chi classes in Southern California with the TCSociety and find out if Tai Chi is the right choice for you!

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA

Many people think that they can learn Tai Chi simply by visiting websites, reading books, or watching DVD’s. But this is simply not the case. There is only one way that you can truly learn the art of Tai Chi, and that is through regular practice with a certified instructor. Websites, books, and videos can help to deepen your knowledge of the art, but learning Tai Chi means practicing it regularly. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale – Tip #1: Practice regularly

The best tip that can possibly be given in regards to Tai Chi is to practice regularly. While it is best to set aside time to practice Tai Chi each day, it is understood that this is not always possible. If you can’t commit to once a day, try to set aside time for at least two to three training session per week. The more you practice the art, the better you will become at it. And the better you become at it, the more benefits you will recieve from it.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA – Tip #2: Supplement your lessons with regular workouts

When you can’t take the time to attend Tai Chi lessons, supplement them with an at-home workout. This workout can be in the form of Tai Chi practice, or in the form of any other exercise type. As a general recommendation, you should try to set aside at least 20 minutes for exercise any day that you don’t have time to attend class.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale – Tip #3: Develop structure

When practicing your Tai Chi workouts at home, you will want to develop structure. You should begin with warm up exercises, follow up with form repetitions, and end with closing exercises. You can learn what each of these entail by attending regular classes with the TCSociety.

Getting the Most out of Tai Chi in Glendale, CA – Tip #4: Find a workout location

Unless you are able to attend Tai Chi lessons on a daily basis, you will need to set up a space in your home where you can practice. Always be sure that this is somewhere spacious, somewhere in which you feel comfortable, and somewhere that is peaceful where you will not be interrupted.

When it comes to your Tai Chi workout, you will want to do everything that you can to get the most out of it. Tai Chi lessons should be attended as often as possible, at least 2-3 times per week. When you cannot attend a lesson, you should set aside at least 20 minutes in which you can practice at home in a quiet location where you feel at peace. If you attend Tai Chi in Glendale, CA and follow the four steps above, you will soon see a huge improvement in both your Tai Chi technique and your health.

Warm Up Tai Chi Exercises

For many years, experts have stressed the importance of warm up exercises before engaging in a workout routine. When it comes to warm up Tai Chi exercises, the art of Tai Chi in itself acts as a warm up. The movements in Tai Chi are slow and co-ordinated, designed to put a minimum amount of stress on your muscles. But despite the fact that Tai Chi acts as it’s own warm up, we still recommend following a regular warm up routine. Here are a few warm ups that you can practice before a Tai Chi session:

Warm Up Tai Chi Exercises for energy awareness:

When it comes to warm ups, most people think about stretching and using their muscles. But in Tai Chi, a warm up is about much more than that. It is also about increasing your awareness. Here are some exercises that can help you to do just that:

1) Breathing – This is one of the simplest exercises of them all. Over time, there are factors in our life (stress, poor posture, etc) that cause us to develop poor breathing habits. Breathing exercises can teach you how to breath longer and smoother, releasing stresses and tensions as you do so.

2) Energy Ball – This exercise helps you to develop your awareness of qi. To perform this exercise, rub your hands together as you would on a cold day and be aware of each movement you make. Hold the intention of bringing your qi to your hands. Feel the life force energy in each hand. Once you feel the warmth, pull them apart slowly, keeping your fingers soft and your hands relaxed. When you feel the connection between your hands weaken, bring them slowly back together, being sure that they never actually touch.

3) Stand in Neutral – Standing in neutral position may sound pretty basic, but it is very important in the art of Tai Chi. Standing can help you to become more aware of where tension areas are in your body. When attention is drawn to these areas, it is easier for you to resolve the tension and learn to relax. To learn the proper "neutral" standing position, ask your TCSociety instructor.

Warm Up Tai Chi Exercises for coordination:

In addition to raising energy awareness, many Tai Chi warm ups are designed to promote better body-awareness. Here are a few exercises you can use to practice coordination:

1) Circling your hands – In Tai Chi, all movements are circular. This exercise is a good way to develop a unified body motion because it opens up all parts of the body and allows them to expand smoothly in circular patterns. Once again, for detailed instructions on how to perform this exercise, speak to your TCSociety instructor.

Of course, these are not the only warm up Tai Chi Exercises. Throughout your learnings at the TCSociety, your Tai Chi instructor will teach you various warm up exercises that can prepare you for your lessons and help you develop skills like coordination and focus.

Tai Chi in Van Nuys, CA

When you think of the term "martial arts", what do you think of? If you are like most, you think of a body contact sport that involves kicking, punching, and fighting. And while there are many types of martial arts that do focus on these these things, Tai Chi is not one of them. When taking Tai Chi in Van Nuys, CA, more focus is placed on slow, rhythmic, and meditative body movements. Unlike most martial arts, these movements are not all about self defense. Rather, they are designed to promote relaxation, inner calmness, and peace. Let’s take a closer look at the art of Tai Chi, and the benefits that come along with practicing it.

The history of Tai Chi…

Before we discuss the health benefits of taking Tai Chi in Van Nuys, CA, let us first take a look at the origins of the art. Centuries old, Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that descends from an ancient Chinese discipline known as qigong. While there is no record of how old the practice of Tai Chi actually is, there are some records that suggest it is more than 2 500 years old! The movements in Tai Chi are designed to be smooth and subtle. At a high skill level, Tai Chi artists reflect the notion of "four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds" and believe that will a small amount of energy, a skilled Tai Chi artist can easily defend themselves a greater force acted out by an attacker.

The benefits of Tai Chi…

Aside from learning how to defend yourself, there are many health benefits that are associated with the practice of Tai Chi. According to the Chinese, Tai Chi can prolong your lifespan, increase your flexibility, and strengthen your muscles. It is also thought to aid in the treatment of such conditions as high blood pressure, skin diseases, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and many other illnesses and health conditions. Unfortunately, while many people swear by these beliefs, they have not yet been scientifically proven. With that said, there are many benefits of Tai Chi that have been proven. Here are a few proven benefits that come along with taking Tai Chi in Van Nuys, CA:

1) Improves Balance
2) Increases self confidence
3) Improves strength and endurance
4) Improves aerobic capacity
5) Improves the condition of those suffering from fibromyalgia
6) Decreases stress

Why take Tai Chi over other forms of martial art?

As said previously, Tai Chi combines self defense with relaxation methods. When combined together, these two factors can benefit you in all of the ways listed above. In addition, the risk of injury in Tai Chi is much less than it is in other forms of martial art because the movements are slow and gentle, placing a minimum amount of stress on your joints and muscles. Tai Chi is non-competitive, and is a form of martial art that you can take at your own pace. And most importantly, you will have a great time learning it!

So what are you waiting for? Try out Tai Chi in Van Nuys, CA today. If you like it, your body will reap the benefits! Contact TCSociety.com to learn how you can get started!

What to Expect During Your First Tai Chi Class

 If you have ever watched someone perform the art of Tai Chi before, you probably already know that each movement is slow, coordinated, and perfected. This can make it a little intimidating to attend your first Tai Chi class. With that said, there is nothing to be intimidated about. Everyone learns Tai Chi at their own pace, and instructors are always understanding of individual needs. But to calm your mind, let’s answer a few commonly asked questions regarding your first Tai Chi classes.

What should I wear to my first class?

Tai Chi requires a great deal of bending, stretching, and moving. As such, you will want to wear clothes that are comfortable and stretchy. While you want to be able to move in your clothes, you also want to make sure that they are not too baggy, as this can also make movements difficult. You should bring a sweatshirt along with you for the end of class, but make sure the clothes you wear are cool – you will be working up a sweat!

What if I don’t know the moves?

If you are attending your first Tai Chi class, you won’t know the moves. You may feel silly and have a hard time keeping up with more advanced Tai Chi students, but it is always important to remember that everyone needs to start somewhere. Even the most coordinated students were beginners at once and all beginners struggle during their first few classes. Pay attention and do your best – the rest will come with time.

What is the appropriate class etiquette?

Class etiquette in Tai Chi comes down to one thing – respecting those around you. Try to show up to class 5-10 minutes before class begins. If you are late, come in quietly and wait for the instructor to invite you in. Other than that, listen carefully to your instructor and be respectful of those around you. If you have any questions, save them until the end of class. Finally, try your best. You won’t learn the movements over night, but if you try your hardest every class, you will catch on quickly.

What should I do when I get frustrated?

If you have never taken part in a Tai Chi class before, you will definitely become frustrated at some point. Tai Chi movements are very technical and coordinated and take a long time to master – which can be very frustrating for new students. The key to handling this frustration is practice. The more you practice, the quicker you will learn and the less frustrated you will become. In the meantime, just remember that everyone starts in the same place – you are not expected to learn the moves right away, just have patience with yourself!

Before attending your first Tai Chi class at TCSociety.com, it is recommended that you watch one or two classes first. This will help you to become more familiar with the pace of the class, the atmosphere of the class, and a few of the moves. Watching classes beforehand will also give you the opportunity to meet some students so that you can become comfortable with your peers when attending your first class.