I have always loved the adventure of teaching class. Every Taiji (Tai Chi) class is unique as my students and I explore this experience together. My students have come from every age, nationality and walk of life. I have worked with athletes, celebrities, and retirees. I have also had the great honor to teach military veterans as they work to regain their mental, spiritual and physical health. Each class allows us to explore some other aspect of our inner and outer Taiji.
I have a very unique background for teaching Taiji, since I have a degree in Kinesiology and more than 35 years experience in conventional fitness and physical therapy – along with my traditional background in TaijiQuan, yoga and Pilates. I don’t know of any other teachers with this foundation. I look at the way our bodies move through space as metaphors for how we move through life. I believe that mastering the shapes, motions, stretches and balance challenges of Taiji can teach us how to overcome the stresses and challenges of everyday life.
My curriculum consists of exploring what are called the three pillars of Taiji: the practice of standing Qigong meditation; the interactive Taiji game of “Pushing Hands;” and the beautiful choreography of the Taiji dance (which we call “forms”). These three pillars correspond to the elements of harmony known as power, freedom and flow.
But most of all, my approach to teaching class is to keep alive the element of fun and playfulness. Traditionally, Taiji students are called “players” – as in “I play Taiji.” And I always remind my students that Taiji was meant to be played – not “worked!”