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:
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:
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.
Second Saturdays of the month
First Event Takes place Saturday, August 8th at Ocean Park in Melbourne Beach, FL
LIMITED TO ONLY 12 PARTICIPANTS IN 10:00 SURFING CHI WORKSHOP SO CONTACT LEA TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE NOW BEFORE IT’S GONE!
ALL THE DETAILS:
WHO: Hosted by BAM Community and Lea Williamson of BeachsideQigong.com
WHEN: Saturday August 8th 8:30-11:00ish
WHERE: Ocean Park in Melbourne Beach (Google Ocean Park for directions-it’s on the corner of A1A and Ocean Ave with free parking and restrooms, but space is limited or you may have to walk a bit. There will be a canopy and flags that make location on beach obvious.
WHAT TO BRING: The stuff you normally like at the beach especially sun block, water appropriate clothing, water to drink, a boogie or surfboard (there will be one or two on loan but don’t count on you getting it! Surfboards are available for rent at most surf shops including the very nearby Catalyst Surf Shop just a block or two from our event. The shop doesn’t open until 9:00am but they rent by the day or only $25/24 hours or $10/hour), bring enthusiasm!
2 Sessions taking place and two different events taking place from BAM Community.
Session 1: Surfing Chi Water Lover’s Chi Social.
This community building event is open to anyone that loves the water but maybe hasn’t thought about being in it as building a relationship with chi/energy. Meet and greet followed by 30 minute Surfing Chi warm-ups led by Lea Williamson. If the conditions are right go play in the ocean together, if not, some more Surfing Chi lessons and beach clean up. Donations are accepted for the organization of this event, but really, I, Lea, just want to get together my water-chi loving friends. It doesn’t matter if you’re a surfer that hasn’t paddeled out in years or just wants more mature water-loving friends, a boogie board rider, swimmer or ocean-drifter who just wants to connect, please come share your stoke and learn a little more about the relationship between riding waves, playing tai chi and healing ourselves naturally. Feel free to stay longer and hang-out with new, like-minded friends or register for the 10:00 Full On Surfing Chi Workshop
Session2: Surfing Chi Workshop
10:00-11:30-ish. $35 paid in advance for only 12 participants!
This is for newbies that want to love the water but maybe are a little shy about going in or don’t yet know anything about reading waves and catching them. In this session, we’ll spend a little more time on the beach learning some safety related surf rituals and slightly different warm-ups than in the first session. Then we’ll ease into the water slowly with no boards to connect with and feel comfortable and learn how to play with the ocean and enjoy it if we don’t already. Once more comfortable and connected with the ocean energy, we’ll grab some boards and get a little more adventurous in the water, paddling out to get used to a surfboard and connecting with relaxing and letting the ocean hold us up. KNOW HOW TO SWIM IF YOU PLAN TO GET IN THE WATER!
RESERVE YOUR SPOT:
While there’s really no limit to the number of people who can attend on the beach, there is a limit to how far my voice will carry outside on the beach, especially with social distancing. Session 1 Surfing Chi Social has no limit to begin but if it’s growing more than my voice can reach, I’ll change that so please register for the event by contacting Lea at least 2 weeks before the event to confirm you’re coming so we have some relative kind of head count. Thanks for your early RSVP!
Session 2: Surfing Chi Workshop: $35 paid at least 1 week in advance. You can register and pre-pay for this event in my online store through this website and by paying Lea directly in person during class sessions. Reserve your spot early so you don’t miss out!
Are you stoked you?!! I sure am! If you haven’t read Surfing the Sea of Chi or don’t know why I’m doing this, here’s the super short version. My whole life I was terrified to go in any body of water: pool, lake, river or ocean didn’t matter. At 40 years old I decided to learn how to surf so I could get over this irrational fear. I thought that surfing for me was all about getting over my fear until I caught that first stand-up wave and actually rode it a little. From then on the power of surfing changed my life in ways I didn’t even know I needed it changed.
Now, I want to share my ocean joy with others who might have a similar fear. I know there’s a lot of you out there because you’ve told me you have this fear too. Thanks to the breath work I learned from my chi arts training, I was able to fully conquer my debilitating fear and now have a profound personal relationship with all things water-especially the ocean. The combination of learning to surf and chi arts taught me that when we move in the natural, cyclical flowing motions of surfing and tai chi, we heal ourselves naturally, profoundly and with no bad side-effects like with conventional Western treatments.
I’m so convinced that surfing can heal us on many deep levels that I’m donating 1% of my book’s profits to the local Sebastian Intlet Surfrider Foundation that works to make surfing accessible to all and our community more ocean friendly. If you’d like a copy of the book signed at the event, please bring one as there will only be a few on hand at the event.
Please note that YOU are responsible for your body and your own well-being. It should go without saying but if you don’t know how to swim, please don’t go in the water! Being in the water is certainly more dangerous than being on land so RESPECT YOUR OWN LIMITS and don’t fo it it’s not right for you. Please note that it is very possible to get hurt surfing or just being in the ocean so YOU are held liable for taking part in this event and for your own actions, not the hosts, sponsors or teachers of this event! Also note that photos will be taken for future promotions at this event, so if you really hate being in photos, this may not be for you. On the flip side, you could get some cool photos of yourself surfing at the beach with friends as I’ll be posting them on my social medial sites including Facebook.
For Questions: if you have questions, comments, concerns or want to offer a surfboard to loan to others, feel free to reach out to Lea well before this event takes place. I will be too busy to check my phone and messages the day of the event so contact me before!
Let’s go surf some chi together!