Many years ago I became both intrigued and fascinated in watching local people practice a form of beautiful movement at local parks in Santa Cruz, California. Over the years I rented a few VHSs and then DVDs of various Tai Chi forms but my attention soon waned. In 2010, while experiencing a good amount of job related stress, I found a short but significant article in AARP magazine (Nov./Dec. 2010 issue), “T’ai Chi Chih – Exercise without breaking a sweat.” I read and re-read the article in earnest, tried a few of the movements illustrated and began my quest. Although I thought I found T’ai Chi Chi, in actuality, it found me. This year, I am celebrating 10 years of my practice within the cosmic rhythm of this gentle, yet powerful, movement “therapy.”
As my practice grew within me I noticed changes in my overall well-being both emotionally and physically. I initially did not think I would become an accredited teacher, but as my practice grew so did my joy in wanting to share this with others. Slowing my body down, helped slow my mind which helped me sit in meditation and be more present in daily living. Over the years, I experienced some health issues and T’ai Chi Chih was there to serve. There are a multitude of benefits to this practice and I would urge the reader to search our website for evidence based studies. The gifts you receive, will undoubtedly, be specific to your needs. Most recently I sustained a sport related injury. I was able to avoid surgery, I believe, due to the benefits of storing the chi within my bones.
As we age, or at any age for that matter, we cannot avoid challenges but we can assume ownership of our health in a proactive manner. And as a career Social Worker, now retired, it is strongly possible that learning T’ai Chi Chih is the missing link in therapeutic interventions. As a first generation Italian-American, I will never forget my immigrant father’s words to me: they can take many things from you, but they can’t take your education from you. This is how I feel about T’ai Chi Chih. Once you learn this beautiful, graceful and grace-filled practice, it is yours to keep forever.
Coming out of teaching hiatus, I plan to resume adult education classes at Ocean County Vocational and Technical School (OCVTS). Brochures are mailed out to local residents prior to the fall and spring semesters or you can access information on their website. Due to the pandemic, it is unclear if and when live classes will resume at this setting. With our “new normal” in mind, I am now offering a free 8-week Zoom class for beginner and returning students as part of an effort to assist during these uncertain times. Please contact me via email for this link. After this launch, more classes will follow.
Allow me to teach you and allow the practice of T’ai Chi Chih to embrace you as it did me.