Tai Chi for Arthritis 1  




     Tai Chi for Arthritis 1 is the cornerstone of the Tai Chi for Health program developed by Dr. Paul Lam and the Tai Chi for Health Institute.  This class is suitable for anyone and is especially good for those brand new to tai chi or with compromised health or joints.  It is endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation as an effective and safe form of exercise even for those with extreme joint degeneration.  This class starts out with gentle physician created qigong warm ups that safely open all the major joints of the body.  We then flow through the entire routine together after which we learn the individual movements or postures one at a time in great detail with plenty of time to practice and commit the movement to memory.  After practicing the individual movement several times we then incorporate that movement into the rest of the tai chi form.  We close the class with cool down exercises that settle the energy and express gratitude for the body we have. 

   This tai chi form has been shown in clinical research to significantly improve balance and prevent falling.  It is a very symmetrical form utilizing both left and right sides of the mindbody evenly with focus on safety, efficient movement and bodily awareness. Depending on the level of practice and commitment, most people can learn this form within a couple of months compared to the years it takes to learn some tai chi forms. If balance is a significant issue, this class can be done seated to slowly integrate standing as core strength and stamina progresses. 


    I have created a video series to accompany learning this simplified Sun style routine that makes learning it even easier.  There are also DVDs available from the Tai Chi for Health Institute's website.    This Sun style form is distinguished by a higher stance (no low movements), agile stepping and the integration of soothing qigong movements.  We utilize the acclaimed Step-Wise Progressive Teaching Method to ensure participants receive the greatest possible learning experience. To guarantee student safety, all instructors leading this session are currently certified through the Tai Chi for Health Institute to teach it and attend update classes every two years.  

   More information on this form can be found at: https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/programs/tai-chi-for-arthritis/


                               Tai Chi for Arthritis 2 

                                           Tai Chi for Arthritis 2 is the second part of Tai Chi for Arthritis 1 and adds considerable depth to the

                                           routine with complex postures.  Unless being taught integrated as TCA 1+2, chi activists needs to learn TCA

                                           part 1 before TCA 2.  This addition to the form adds just three new postures that brings the total TCA 1+2

                                          form to 40 moves, making it a substantial tai chi form.  While there are only three new postures, two of

                                          them are quite complex and take several lessons to learn. Instructor is certified to teach this class and

                                          attends update workshops every two years to ensure safety and high standards.


                                             Tai Chi for Diabetes


                                                                Tai Chi for Diabetes was created by the Tai Chi for Health Institute to help those with

                                                                diabetes to have a safe and effective method of exercise.  It's been shown in studies to help

                                                                manage some of the symptoms of diabetes like neuropathy and weight control.  It is a nice  beginner tai chi form even for those who do not have blood sugar issues.  Slightly more complicated that the Tai Chi for Arthritis form, TCD utilizes traditional movements from both Sun and Yang styles of tai chi.  It puts particular emphasis on the meditative movement called Wave Hands Like Clouds.  

   This class comes with online video support to make learning it as easy as possible.  The class begins with a qigong warm up set that safely opens all the major joints in the body, then progresses through the form itself with one movement at a time and closes with cool downs.  We utilize the acclaimed Step Wise Progressive Teaching Method to ensure all participants receive maximum retention of the lessons.  Teacher is fully certified and attends update classes every two years, creating a safe, effective class.  More information on this form can be found on the Tai Chi for Health Institute's website at: https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/programs/tai-chi-for-diabetes/


                                                QiGong Classes (General)


                                                                Unless otherwise stated, these classes integrate different qigong routines/exercises every

                                                           session to give practioners variety.  Each qigong class is design to be appropriate for the

                                                           time of day being held.  So a morning class will focus on gently waking up the mindbody,

                                                           getting the chi moving, setting the intention of inner strength, health and harmony for the

                                                           day.  Routines from the following will be implemented: Supreme Science Qigong, Traditional Temple Training, 8 Pieces of Brocade, Tai Chi for Health qigong warm-ups.  All of these styles utilize the 4 Tools of Qigong:  breathing techniques, specific healing movements, visualizations and massage.  Some classes will be mostly breathing, some mostly moving.  Feel free to use the contact form to inquire about the specific techniques being utilized in each session. 




                                       BaMen Tai Chi/Qigong


                                                      It is an honor to be able to share this very ancient sytle of tai chi that pre-dates most tai chi being

                                                    taught in the US.    BaMen (8 Gates) is passed on through me by Grand Master Jeffery B. Cook who

                                                    is a lineage holder. It is 2,300 years old and comes from the Wu Dan Temple of central China.  This

                                                    class is appropriate for anyone, but if you are athletically inclined and more accustomed to Western styles of exercise, this will probably be the class for you.  It utilizes three primary exercises: 1) Dao Mo's 18 Muscle Tendon Changing Classic (Yi Jin Ching) -  a qigong routine that dates to the 5th century Shaolin Temple which uses bi-lateral, isometric training, visualizations, and balance combined with intense breathing techniques for a full mindbody work out.

2) Five Beasts at Play (Wu Xian) - a complex qigong routine that looks more like tai chi than qigong  from 206 BC that combines flowing movements, agile steps, balance and intense breathwork to balance the five elements within the body.

3) BaMen - 2,300 year old tai chi routine that is designed to activate the flow of chi in the mindbody using complex, flowing movements. 

   This class requires commitment and at home practice. There is no video support for this traditional temple training.  It is taught as it has been for thousands of years requiring the student to fully engage the mind to remember the forms.  This is the most complex class I teach and while everyone can do it, some become intimidated by it's complicated nature.  It is my personal favorite and I find it more beneficial to my own health and well being than any of the other things I teach.  As with most things, what you put into it, you get out of it.  

                                                           Wuji Walking - Qigong Balance Work

                                                  Wuji is considered one of the supreme forms of qigong and emphasizes

                                               awareness of balance in posture, gait and movement through space while

                                               connecting with the energetic field.  The focus of this class is balance

                                               improvement using functional mobility training found in the slow motion

                                               stepping of Wuji gong. 


                                                  This class is suitable for anyone working to improve balance and mobility as

                                               well as those seeking a more tangible connection with the field of chi or life force

                                               energy.  Because there is no pattern of movement to follow, wuji is easy to do,

                                               fun and engages the mind's creative side.  Wuji means formless, that which existed before the material.  By releasing our rational mind in flowing practice of wuji, we balance our creative, flowing, wave-like selves with our reason-based, practical, physical selves to achieve harmony between yin and yang. 

     We begin with warm ups that include stretching, centering and light breathwork.  We go through various qigong balance training exercises and chi mindfulness activities before engaging in the wuji walking practices.  This session is appropriate for anyone who wishes to attain better balance in mindbody AND anyone wishing to connect with the electromagnetic field we all share on a more tangible level.  Chairs are available for those with balance issues.  These classes will challenge both those with and without balance related issues.  So if you find it hard, you're not alone ;)   It's only through challenge that we improve ourselves. 

                         Sun 73 Tai Chi  Tues & Thur 8:45am in Oct.

                                                            This traditional long form style of tai chi is fun, challenging and soothing all at the same time!

                                                       This "young" style of tai chi was developed by Master Sun Lu-Tang (1861-1932) when he was

                                                       about 50 years old and already a recognized master of two different internal styles of qigong. 

                                                       Because of this Sun Style tai chi incorporates a lot of relaxing qigong-like elements. This makes it a

                                                       less aggressive style of tai chi in terms of kicks and large movements when compared to a style like

                                                       Chen or even BaMen.


                                                             For this reason it is very appropriate for beginners and for those who want to learn a longer,

                                                       more meditative form.  It is a smooth flowing routine that is used in competitions as a standard. 

                                                       That means if you learn this form and integrate it well, you could actually enter a tai chi

                                                       competition with it, if you like to compete. I'm thinking Senior Olympics!



          This is a long form and takes dedicated practice and commitment to learn but once learned is a complete stand alone practice with great depth.  We will learn the entire 73 sequence in stages.  That means we'll only learn the beginning section in each class. Then once enough people have learned section 1, we'll begin section 2.  A minimum of 4 people are required to keep this class open.  If you really want to dive headlong into a beautiful and elegant form of tai chi, this class is for you!  But be prepared to do homework. Learning a long traditional form takes quite a bit of time in the beginning but then you have a complete fitness routine that you'll be able to do anywhere literally for the rest of your life!  (Unlike Zumba, Crossfit and many other Western exercises that neglect the mindbody/breath connection).

        We meet OUTSIDE in Gleason Park on the north side of the lake. Dress weather appropriate. 


Radical Well-Being with Blissful Breathwork

 2nd and 4th Thursdays 6:00-7:00 pm  Blissful.Energy  (240 S. Wickham Rd, Melbourne)

  $15 drop-in or package pricing 

   If you want to become inspired, you have to really breathe! Explore the science and practices of qi gong breathwork in this on-gong specialty class. Each session explores a different aspect of breathwork, giving you an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of breathing, the benefits/pitfalls of various breathing habits, breathing exercises galore, a breathwork journal to track your progress, the breath/brain connection, consciousness raising practices and life-changing energy shifts. 


   This series is somewhat progressive in nature starting with very simple breath work practices and eventually leading up to the complex Breathing the Rainbow Warrior, a profound practice combining breath, light and sacred imagery. Each session can be taken alone, but participants benefit the most  by working though the various stages one after another, like steps on a staircase leading into higher planes.  Since each class is different, please read the description of each session you wish to attend so you're sure to bring the tools you will need to each.


     After the first "introductory month," the 2nd Thursday sessions will bring in core concepts and give you specific tools and exercises to use throughout your week.  The 4th Thursday sessions will spend time reviewing and practicing the previous lesson and use the rest of the class time for the Breath Empowerment Meditation.  Because the Breath Empowerment or BE is designed to blast open the meridian system using powerful breathwork, we will be using it once a month to detoxify and reset the entire mindbody energy system.  I'm excited to embark on this journey with you into the very thing that gives us all life: breathing. 



        Jan. 9    Radical Well-Being through Healthy Breathing

                    In this interactive introductory class, we'll learn how breathing patterns affect

                    health, establish our breathing baselines, and begin working with mindful

                    breathing. Please bring pen/pencil (breathwork journal provided)

                     for "classroom" work.

        Jan. 23  Resonance Breathing & the Micro Cosmic Orbit Meditation

                    In this soothing, meditative class, we'll learn Resonance Breathing, known to

                    regulate the very important Vagus Nerve. Please bring, pen/pencil, breathwork

                    journal (or one will be provided),  smart phone for app download.


       Feb. 13  Muscle-Toning Breathwork

                    In this very active class, we'll be learning about muscle-toning breath work and

                    the Shitali breath known to reduce inflammation.  This will be primarily a

                    standing, exercise class. Please bring: pen/pencil, breathwork journal (or one

                    will be provided). 

       Feb 27   Breath Empowerment Meditation

                    In this session, we'll have a seated 20 minute introduction to this technique, then

                    lay down to practice it for about 20 minutes. One of my all time favorite qi gong

                    techniques for radical self improvement on every level. This extremely powerful

                    practice is not recommended for those who are pregnant, have seizures or on-

                    going chest pain.  While we practice laying down, this is not a calm, relaxing

                    technique. Come prepared to breathe away past traumas and failures and inspire

                    your highest self. Please bring: pen/pencil, breathwork journal (or one will be



   March 12   Breathing for Better Sleep

                    In this very calming and soothing class, we'll discuss the connection between  

                    breathing and sleeping and how sleep affects our health. We'll practice

                    Resonance Breathing and the Shi Shi Hu breath.  Please bring:  pen/pencil,

                    breathwork journal (or one will be provided), and smart phone for app download. 


  March 26   Breath Empowerment Meditation

                   (See Feb 27 for details)

      April 9   9 Breath Method

                    In this seated session, we'll get an introduction to Tibetan Tummo breathing that

                    is contained within the 9 Breath Method technique. While there is a lot of talk in

                    this session it is in conjunction with learning and practicing the technique. Live

                    blood cell analysis of 9 Breath Method indicates it is more effective at boosting

                    blood oxygen than an oxygen tank or C-pap machine! Since it is a complex

                    technique, we will continue to practice and build up on it in subsequent classes

                    eventually leading up to Breathing the Rainbow Warrior, a version of 9 Breath

                    Method. Please bring: pen/pencil, breathwork journal (or one will be provided).


        April 23 Breath Empowerment Meditation

                    First we will review and practice 9 Breath Method then proceed to BE. See Feb 27

                    for full details. 

     Schedule to be updated soon!

5 Beasts Qigong (Wu Xian)

     This elegant, flowing qi gong set is designed to balance the 5 elements of the mindbody but offers so much more than this simple synopsis can provide.  Utilizing breathwork, balance, isometric strengthening and flow, this iconic routine improves stamina, increases overall energy, deepens respiration, calms the mind and provides the practitioner with self-defense skills at the same time. 

     Passed to me by Grand Master Jeff Cook, this traditional set dates to 206 BC.  It can be practiced as a stand alone exercise with numerous mindbody benefits, or combined with other exercises.  It is part of the traditional temple training found in the BaMen classes.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine when the 5 elements fall out of balance, disharmony and dis-ease follow.  The exercise uses the movements and energy of 5 animals to balance these 5 elements.  These elements are: Fire-Dragon,  Earth-Snake,  Metal-Tiger, Water-Leopard, Tree-Crane.  One does not have to understand or believe in 5 Element theory to gain enormous mindbody benefit from engaging in the exercise.  Besides, it's fun to be a powerful tiger sometimes!

​© 2013 by Lea Williamson

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