In our latest #FitMob event, 40 people joined Olympic swimmer and world-record holder Ariana Kukors for Tai Chi at Myrtle Edwards Park.
Instructors Kim Ivy of Embrace The Moon Taijiquan & Qigong and Brendan Thorson of the Noble School of Tai Chi and Qigong each led a group in distinctly different styles of the ancient practice. Ivy focused on dynamic forms, excellent for office workers who sits all day. Thorson emphasized energy systems, encouraging participants to feel the sensations of energy, or Chi.
To see more photos of the event and to tag yourself and your friends, check out our Facebook photo album.
Join #FitMob again next Saturday on September 21 as we head over to Ravenna Park for trail running fun with instructor Natalie Joffe, Hannah Schultz and Kalpanatit Broderick. Check out our Facebook event for more information and to RSVP. Spread the word!
Tai Chi 101 with Kim Ivy
Interested in Tai Chi but don’t know where to begin? Check out our interview with instructor Kim Ivy for tips on how to get started down the right path.
ANW: Gives us an overview on Tai Chi and the health benefits it provides.
Ivy: Both Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qigong are movement/meditation/martial arts forms originating in China. They are both based on the principles of Yin/Yang and nature. The health benefits are many and have been proven in both Western and Eastern scientific methodology. They include improved balance, reduced chronic pain, fatigue, lowered blood pressure and decreased stress and anxiety. Tai Chi also helps with athletic injuries & rehab, stroke rehab, cancer treatment and joint related issues.
The health benefits that are listed above come from gradually correcting posture deviations, strengthening the physical body and the internal organ systems, and enhancing mental concentration.
ANW: Is there more than just one school of thought when it comes to Tai Chi?
Ivy: There are five primary family styles of Tai Chi: Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao & Sun. There are other families that have their own interpretations of Tai Chi and other modernization of the basic styles. All Tai Chi comes from the original Chen family and is based on the same principles of helping you become more grounded while nourishing your Dantian (located in the lower abdomen), which is responsible for nourishing our regeneration energies. The different family styles emphasize different ideas of footwork, martial and health strategies.
I practice Chen Family Tai Chi, which emphasizes correct posture and fluid movement. I also practice many types of Qigong that focus on these aspects.
ANW: What advice would you give people who are just starting or looking to get involved with Tai Chi?
Ivy: People should try Tai Chi and Qigong first because they are fun. They have been around for many centuries and are proven to be an effective exercise and health practice. They are also great practices that can adapt to a wide range of age, athletic and fitness levels. Lastly, they are beautiful and will optimize a person’s life by bringing balance and joy to the life lived.