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Does anyone here do Tai Chi?


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I currently walk/hike and do weights. Years ago, I did yoga, but I damaged my body with all of that deep stretching, and have no desire to take it up again. But I do kind of miss the graceful movements and poses, and the relaxation of it. So I'm wondering about Tai Chi. It doesn't include deep, static stretches, right? Any videos (DVDs, website subscriptions, anything) that could teach me how to do it at home?

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Our gym offers it. DH took it a few times. It looks to me lime it might be better as a range of motion exercise or to calm your mind and body.

 

I know you had a bad yoga experience, but Netflix has a Yoga for Aches and pains that involves very gentle stretching. Not all yoga is remotely the same and you may be perfectly happy with Gentle Yoga ifthe other kinds (Ashtanga?) are overkill for you.

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Well I don't have any DVD recommendations. I took Tai Chi through the adult ed in my city a few times. I really enjoyed it.

 

Oh, I didn't think about that. I don't think I can afford classes at a private studio, but something like that would probably be more affordable, right? I'll look into it.

 

It looks to me lime it might be better as a range of motion exercise or to calm your mind and body.

 

That sounds like exactly what I'm looking for! :001_smile:

 

I know you had a bad yoga experience, but Netflix has a Yoga for Aches and pains that involves very gentle stretching. Not all yoga is remotely the same and you may be perfectly happy with Gentle Yoga ifthe other kinds (Ashtanga?) are overkill for you.
I appreciate your encouragement, truly, so I will take a look. But I must admit I've become pretty skeptical about the whole idea of stretching. It just seems to me that loosening your tendons/ligaments is a sure way to make your joints more vulnerable to injury. So it seems to me (uneducated opinion here!) that Tai Chi would be better in this respect, because you're moving your joints through their natural range of motion, maintaining healthy flexibility, but you're not pushing them beyond their natural limits. Does that make sense? But yes, it was Ashtanga that I was doing before, so it was definitely pushing beyond the natural limits. I'm sure something gentler would have been better.

 

ETA: I forgot to say: thank you both for your help!

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I think it cost me $60 for 12 one hour classes. It was very reasonable.

 

That I could do. Hope I can find something comparable around here.

 

There is something called Chinese yoga. That's a lot more like Tai Chi than the crazy pretzel stretching yoga.

 

Thanks, I'll look into that as well.

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I've been doing Yang form qigong/tai chi for 2 years now.

 

No, there are no deep stretching exercises in tai chi. At least not in the Yang form.

 

looks like a pretty old movie, and I didn't watch all of it, but it looks like what we do.

 

Thank you! :001_smile:

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Thank you! :001_smile:

Your welcome.

 

is another video if you are interested. This guy is a student of a student of Master Cheng.

 

I don't know how good the lessons are but if you google "free Yang style tai chi online" you should get several hits for you tube video teaching Yang style short form. If you don't specifically want Yang style, switch out the name of another form or just search for free online tai chi lessons.

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Your welcome.

 

is another video if you are interested. This guy is a student of a student of Master Cheng.

 

I don't know how good the lessons are but if you google "free Yang style tai chi online" you should get several hits for you tube video teaching Yang style short form. If you don't specifically want Yang style, switch out the name of another form or just search for free online tai chi lessons.

 

I'm not familiar with any other style, so that one sounds like a good place to start! :001_smile: Thanks again!

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I'm not familiar with any other style, so that one sounds like a good place to start! :001_smile: Thanks again!

Well...

 

Chen

Yang

Wu/Hao

Wu

Sun

 

All styles ultimately come from the Chen style.

 

I won't overwhelm you with info. But if you have a specific question I might be able to answer it.

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Well...

 

Chen

Yang

Wu/Hao

Wu

Sun

 

All styles ultimately come from the Chen style.

 

I won't overwhelm you with info. But if you have a specific question I might be able to answer it.

 

Thank you for the list! I'll see what I can find out about each and then let you know if more questions come up. At the moment, I don't even know enough to ask the right questions! :lol: I'm just looking for something that will keep me flexible, as in able to move my joints through a healthy range of motion, while carrying little to no risk of injury, and hopefully providing some fun and relaxation along the way.

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Thank you for the list! I'll see what I can find out about each and then let you know if more questions come up. At the moment, I don't even know enough to ask the right questions! :lol: I'm just looking for something that will keep me flexible, as in able to move my joints through a healthy range of motion, while carrying little to no risk of injury, and hopefully providing some fun and relaxation along the way.

It sounds like qigong/tai chi chaun is what you are looking for.

 

I know it if I don't do my practice. Especially with the bum arm. Doing "brush and push" many times every day helps keep the range of motion that I have. When I was traveling last week I didn't do it and had a really hard time yesterday in class.

 

And since I'm essentially home alone with a bit of time on my hands I ought to get off the computer and practice. :D

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It sounds like qigong/tai chi chaun is what you are looking for.

 

I know it if I don't do my practice. Especially with the bum arm. Doing "brush and push" many times every day helps keep the range of motion that I have. When I was traveling last week I didn't do it and had a really hard time yesterday in class.

 

And since I'm essentially home alone with a bit of time on my hands I ought to get off the computer and practice. :D

 

I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I really do mean it, thank you for your help! I'm very encouraged to hear that it helps you with your injury. With mine, I've had to accept that this is something I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life. There is no "curing" it. But if I can minimize it's impact, and prevent it from getting worse, that will be a huge victory! The alternative could be addiction to pain pills, risky and painful surgeries, and things that I don't even want to contemplate!

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Panda, I didn't mean to be dismissive of your recommendation, please forgive me if I was. The fact is, I am just really scared of hurting myself again.

 

None taken :001_smile: I just stumbled upon the video on Netflix and my disabled son was able to do a lot of it even with his very limited range of motion. We modified the part where they are standing, but it looked gentle enough for most folks to handle with little effort.

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Just saw this thread. I do both Tai Chi and Yoga, and also teach qigong/tai chi/ and meditation.

 

Of course, I am going to highly recommend Tai Chi. It wakes up good moods and healing in the body. I would like to say, though, that one should be very conservative in starting tai chi, or any exercise for that matter. Be patient, not greedy, think of it as a life long marathon. Then benefits will build up in no time.

 

It is actually possible to hurt yourself in Tai Chi by trying too hard. Mostly one can get sore knees by going too far too fast without proper guidance. Rarely is there any other kind of setback.

 

If you want to get started right away feeling what Tai Chi is capable of, you can start safely with the "standing tree" practices. Some people might feel funny standing still for ten minutes, but it is super safe and the benefits accrue very fast as well. Also, moving Tai Chi feels like a party once you're used to standing meditation!

 

Some great 10 minute videos on standing tree are on youtube and are compiled on this website:

 

http://www.attentionarts.com

 

under "standing meditation"

 

thats easier than for me to look them up on youtube.

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Years ago when I lived in the city I took it. I quite liked it. And was pretty good at learning and remembering the movements and doing them well despite my larger size. I wish there was a class out here for it but I am pretty much stuck with using dvds which just isn't the same. I found there was no deep stretches to it, just fluid gentle movement.

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I bought a video (I don't have it right here to tell you the title) and I've watched youtube and other on-line resources and I just can't quite 'get" tai chi. I think *I* might need to go to a class to get a started. I think it is different enough from anything I've done, that I need a class to get me started.

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I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I really do mean it, thank you for your help! I'm very encouraged to hear that it helps you with your injury. With mine, I've had to accept that this is something I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life. There is no "curing" it. But if I can minimize it's impact, and prevent it from getting worse, that will be a huge victory! The alternative could be addiction to pain pills, risky and painful surgeries, and things that I don't even want to contemplate!

Sorry. I did go practice and didn't get back to this thread until this morning.

 

Be encouraged. Try to find a competent teacher in your area to get you started. The money you spend for classes will more than likely be less than surgeries, pain pills and physical therapy. Dh's PT co-pay is more than our family pays for tai chi class.

 

The man that teaches us has been doing this for 30+ years. I don't know the entire story since he only tells bits and pieces of it, but he was involved in an accident with a severe head injury. He had to relearn pretty much everything physical. He attributes a lot of how well he recovered to his qigong/tai chi practice. To see him today one would never know he was so severely injured.

 

When you start, go at a level of stretch that is good for you. I've been at this two years and have finally in the last couple weeks been able to get into a "horse stance" (imagine riding a horse and stand like that) without having to stand up every 20-30 seconds to relieve the muscles in my thighs. It does take time. But it is well worth the time invested

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None taken :001_smile: I just stumbled upon the video on Netflix and my disabled son was able to do a lot of it even with his very limited range of motion. We modified the part where they are standing, but it looked gentle enough for most folks to handle with little effort.

 

I'm glad it worked for him! I will take a look at it. And I'll see what Tai Chi videos Netflix has to offer too. :)

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Just saw this thread. I do both Tai Chi and Yoga, and also teach qigong/tai chi/ and meditation.

 

Of course, I am going to highly recommend Tai Chi. It wakes up good moods and healing in the body. I would like to say, though, that one should be very conservative in starting tai chi, or any exercise for that matter. Be patient, not greedy, think of it as a life long marathon. Then benefits will build up in no time.

 

It is actually possible to hurt yourself in Tai Chi by trying too hard. Mostly one can get sore knees by going too far too fast without proper guidance. Rarely is there any other kind of setback.

 

If you want to get started right away feeling what Tai Chi is capable of, you can start safely with the "standing tree" practices. Some people might feel funny standing still for ten minutes, but it is super safe and the benefits accrue very fast as well. Also, moving Tai Chi feels like a party once you're used to standing meditation!

 

Some great 10 minute videos on standing tree are on youtube and are compiled on this website:

 

www.attentionarts.com

 

under "standing meditation"

 

thats easier than for me to look them up on youtube.

 

It's great to hear from an instructor! Thank you for this advice. Your point to go slow and think of it as a marathon and not a sprint is well taken. I will start with standing tree, as you've suggested. I can that a little every day until I find a video or hopefully an affordable class where I can learn more. Thanks!

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I study the same form as Parrothead, and am VERY fortunate that it is offered at my local YMCA. My teacher is a saint.

 

Julie

 

I'm not so fortunate. My local Y has yoga classes but no Tai Chi. There is a local senior center that offers Tai Chi, but it says 50+ and I'm 38. So it looks like if I'm going to take a class, the expensive studios are all that's left. :( My husband is 50+, though. If I could harass him into going, I wonder if I could go too as his tag-along? :lol:

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The money you spend for classes will more than likely be less than surgeries, pain pills and physical therapy. Dh's PT co-pay is more than our family pays for tai chi class.

 

That is a really good point! The medical coverage subsidized by my husband's employer is being gradually whittled away. We feel that we should not count on it being there long-term. Tai Chi would not only be a whole lot cheaper than any standard medical treatment, it's probably a whole lot more pleasant!!!

 

The man that teaches us has been doing this for 30+ years. I don't know the entire story since he only tells bits and pieces of it, but he was involved in an accident with a severe head injury. He had to relearn pretty much everything physical. He attributes a lot of how well he recovered to his qigong/tai chi practice. To see him today one would never know he was so severely injured.

 

When you start, go at a level of stretch that is good for you. I've been at this two years and have finally in the last couple weeks been able to get into a "horse stance" (imagine riding a horse and stand like that) without having to stand up every 20-30 seconds to relieve the muscles in my thighs. It does take time. But it is well worth the time invested

 

Thank you for the encouragement, and the success story. I will try to remember to take it slow and not expect overnight miracles. I am thinking long-term here, because I know that if I can be in this much pain, and be this limited in my movements at the age of 38, I am going to be in serious trouble in my senior years if I don't take steps now. I'm not looking to win any fitness awards, just to maintain some quality of life!

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Years ago when I lived in the city I took it. I quite liked it. And was pretty good at learning and remembering the movements and doing them well despite my larger size. I wish there was a class out here for it but I am pretty much stuck with using dvds which just isn't the same. I found there was no deep stretches to it, just fluid gentle movement.

 

I bought a video (I don't have it right here to tell you the title) and I've watched youtube and other on-line resources and I just can't quite 'get" tai chi. I think *I* might need to go to a class to get a started. I think it is different enough from anything I've done, that I need a class to get me started.

 

Classes are really motivating, as well as informative. I think there's some sort of synergy when doing it with other people, that you just don't get when you do it alone. I'm going to find out what the local studios charge, and then talk to hubby and see if it's feasible for us. There's really few things more important to invest in than your health and well being! So hopefully this will work out.

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Oh great to hear that!

 

The youtube videos I directed you to are high-quality intro teaching and are actually from a BBC series-- it's not joe-blo in his backyard. A great teacher and great, intriguing instruction in a simple ten minute package. Personally I have found standing tree miraculous.

 

That being said, earlier I was a bit busy and did not get to the main question for you-- about intro videos. I definitely have the answer!

 

Over the years I've looked through most of the main producers of tai chi videos and can without reservation recommend Dr. Paul Lam as the best for beginners working on their own in their living rooms.

 

He has several highly detailed, multi angle videos for beginners and it the style is based on a very safe form called "Sun Style" (not as in our nearest star, but a chinese name), although he also teaches other styles.

 

I can look through his offerings later if you are interested but its probably clear on his website which are good for beginners. From memory, I think titles like "Tai Chi for Stress Relief" or maybe "pain relief" or some such are the best beginner titles. They are not really videos just for the relief of what is on the cover, but very simple basic forms with a high level of detailed instruction which gets you off on the right foot. You can progress to other titles later.

 

Of course, a local class at the community center can be great too. Tai Chi is a very "hang out together" sort of thing too, which is wonderful.

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Ok, so I was moved to go check out Dr. Lam's website and I can recommend Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Beginners to get started.

 

If you are one of the special people who take a liking to standing tree, I would really encourage you to look into it as a miraculous fountain.

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Over the years I've looked through most of the main producers of tai chi videos and can without reservation recommend Dr. Paul Lam as the best for beginners working on their own in their living rooms.

 

He has several highly detailed, multi angle videos for beginners and it the style is based on a very safe form called "Sun Style" (not as in our nearest star, but a chinese name), although he also teaches other styles.

 

This is wonderful to know, thank you! I'm looking at the website now, and there is a video entitled "Tai Chi for Beginners: 8 Lessons with Dr. Paul Lam" Sounds like a good place to start! I'm also interested in what I can get through Netflix, though, since I could have one of those here in just a couple of days without an outlay of any additional funds. Unfortunately, however, they don't have that particular title. They do have one called "Tai Chi for Back Pain" (also by Dr. Lam). Unless you would recommend something else, I think I will start with that one, and then order the beginner one as soon as I have a few extra dollars to spend.

 

Thank you again for your help!

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Ok, so I was moved to go check out Dr. Lam's website and I can recommend Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Beginners to get started.

 

If you are one of the special people who take a liking to standing tree, I would really encourage you to look into it as a miraculous fountain.

 

I was in the middle of writing a reply to you and I lost my internet connection. So, sorry for the delay, and for not seeing this one before I posted the one below. I appreciate your help! I will buy one of the two you recommended, and I think I'll go ahead and get the one for back pain from Netflix as well.

 

I enjoyed the quiet, meditative poses in yoga, so I am looking forward to trying standing tree.

 

Again, thank you very much!

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