We get quite a few questions about tai chi from folks who are new to it. Lucky for us, our T'ai Chi for Beginners teacher, Louise Keefer, knows how to make this ancient art accessible for even the newest beginners. Here are her answers to some of the common questions she receives!
I’ve never done any tai chi before—what can I expect?
Not to worry! We start each class with a series of stand alone warm ups to help you relax and focus your energy. Although the forms learned are sequential, at least one short sequence will be covered in detail in every class. Over time you will be able to string them together. But even with one session, you’ll be able to take at least one new practice home with you.
What should I wear?
The class is done standing so loose, comfortable clothing and stocking feet are fine if that’s comfortable for you. Once you try the class, you may prefer to wear cotton soled tai chi shoes or a similar closed toe but flexible, thin soled shoe.
How long does it take to learn the 37 move form?
Everyone is different! Some folks will learn the form well enough to practice on their own in 9-12 months. With daily practice, it may take 3-4 months to feel confident with solo practice. Others may decide that learning it is not their primary goal—either way you will reap some benefit of tai chi with every session.
What’s different about the meditative aspects of tai chi?
Many people who struggle with maintaining focus in a static meditation find the flowing, slow-moving movements help them experience a new level of calmness.
What’s the biggest misconception about tai chi?
That it’s only for “old people” which couldn’t be further from the truth! Tai chi can and should be practiced at any age. It is a lifelong pursuit.”
I've heard there's a lot of variety in tai chi. What do you teach in this class?
There are 5 styles or families of tai chi and each style may have many different forms. In this beginner tai chi chuan class, you will learn the first 14 of the 37 move Yang style short form as taught by Cheng man Ch’ing.
What is a tai chi “form”?
A series of postures or “forms” that are practiced sequentially. Not unlike dance choreography, it can take some time to learn but you can easily follow along and benefit without necessarily learning to execute the form on your own.
Join Louise on Tuesdays at 6pm! Your first visit to our studio is free if you live in the local area. As with all of our classes you can sign up online in advance at tinyurl.com/visitthestudio