Tai Chi Brings Balance to Your Life

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Tai Chi - Kew Gardens | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education
Tai Chi - Wounded Warriors @ Fort Bragg | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education
Tai Chi - Grand Rapids | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education

Snapshots of Tai Chi from around the world:

A group of women practicing it together in Kew Gardens; soldiers at Fort Bragg using it to reduce stress; a community celebrating it during the Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids, MI.

Go with the Flow

While Tai Chi was originally conceived of as a martial art -- and there are some styles and forms that still emphasize this element -- the Yang style hand form was transformed by Yang Chengfu to create a slow and steady style of movement.

Because it was easy for anyone to pick up and practice, it gained in popularity in China, and then rapidly spread around the world.

People of all ages and abilities practice Tai Chi because it helps them:

  • Improve their balance and flexibility
  • Develop and maintain muscle strength
  • Positively impact their cardio-vascular system
  • Reduce stress
  • Bring more mindfulness to their posture

Be simple and true to your own nature. Be selfless and at peace with the way things are.

-- Lao Tsu

Instructor Richard Aries has been offering the Yang style of Tai Chi at Seattle Central since 1980, and it continues to be one of our most popular classes.

He began practicing it in 1974, when a back injury led him to research ways in which he could strengthen the muscles in his lower spine. He had heard that Tai Chi was very good for the lower body, so he began to study the Yang Short Form with a Taiwanese teacher.

Now at the age of 67, he has found that practicing this short exercise for the past 40+ years has helped him maintain his overall health, as well as his balance.

"As we age, we may begin to experience balance issues," he noted. "Tai Chi brings better kinesthetic awareness, reducing the possibility that we'll fall as we get older."

Tai Chi has been called moving meditation, or meditation in motion, and Richard has found it has helped him keep is mind off of the day-to-day issues that inevitably arise in our busy world.

When he practices as part of a group, it brings an atmosphere of community and connection that is sometimes missing in the modern world. And when he practices it on his own, he finds it to be a self-healing and meditative experience.

Student Stories

Here are what a few of Richard's students have to say about the benefits of practicing Tai Chi:

This class is a perfect way to end the work day. Gentle warm-up movements, focused movements, kind reminders that wherever we are is just right -- it doesn't matter if we've been practicing for years or this is the first time -- sprinkled with laughter, good humor, and wonderful classmates. These are the ingredients that inspire me to continue with the class.  -- Debra

I am a 71 year old woman who was having balance problems, such as falling off my bicycle. After only a few weeks of taking Richard's class, I was falling much less. He is a great teacher: Serious, knowledgeable, fun, patient and kind. -- Cassandra

I have taken Richard’s class at Seattle Central for over four years. Besides being extremely well-versed in massage,Tai Chi, martial arts and more arcane whole body healing methods, I would classify Richard as a Shaman of Kinesiology. He has expertise in the movement of body and mind throughout life. -- John

Wu Wei: The Art of Doing Nothing

If you enjoyed learning about Wu Wei, pick up the Tao Te Ching for more inspiration.