FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi (also taiji, and pronounced “tie-jee”) is an internal martial art developed centuries ago in China. Its slow, soft, and graceful movements, combined with deep diaphragmatic breathing, strengthen the connection between mind and body. Tai Chi is sometimes called “meditation in motion.” Studies show that it reduces stress and anxiety, improves balance, strength, and self confidence, decreases the risk of falls, maintains bone density, boosts immunity, and can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and neck pain. At the Westchester Tai Chi Center, we teach the Yang Family Style, which is the style most commonly taught in the United States.
Why study Tai Chi with the Westchester Tai Chi Center?
The Center’s programs at the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital are among the largest and most successful in Westchester County. Most have been in place for over twenty years, and all are taught by certified instructors. We have a range of classes that include traditional Tai Chi, Tai Chi for balance, and Tai Chi for special populations. Burke’s pastoral grounds and state-of-the-art facilities provide a perfect setting for studying the internal arts, and the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association has recognized it as an Authorized Teaching Center. In short, there’s no better place to study Tai Chi in the area.
Can anyone do Tai Chi?
Yes! Of course, it’s always important to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine of any kind. But people of all ages and abilities regularly practice Tai Chi. The movements are gentle, slow, and relaxing, and they can be done at multiple levels depending on your individual situation. We’ll help you to find your comfort zone and to challenge yourself as your skills progress.
Can Tai Chi really improve my health?
Absolutely. Scientific studies continue to expand the number of health issues that Tai Chi either alleviates or prevents. For more specific information, click here to see our page on medical studies.
What should I wear in class?
Be comfortable. Many people wear athletic clothing, like sweats or shorts, but anything loose and comfortable that you might normally wear out in the world is fine (except for skirts and dresses). Shoes should be flat with no heel, like sneakers or flat walking shoes, and should be comfortable enough that you can stand in them for an hour-long class.
What is Qigong?
Qigong (also Ch’i Kung, and pronounced “chee-gung”) is an ancient Chinese system of gentle, rhythmic movement and breathing that circulates “Qi,” or life energy, throughout the body. Qigong imparts many of the same health benefits as Tai Chi, such as reduced stress and anxiety, improved balance, strength, and self-confidence, reduced risk of falls, and maintenance of bone density. We use Qigong to warm up at the beginning of each class.
What is Dao Yin?
Dao Yin (also “Tao Yin”) is sometimes referred to as Daoist yoga and is even older than Qigong. The movements are done standing and walking and involve the lengthening and stretching of the body. Dao Yin increases the flow of Qi and clears blockages from the energy pathways.
Do I need to practice at home?
As a beginner, you won’t need to practice at home in order to keep up with the classes. But the benefits of Tai Chi come with regular practice, so we do recommend that you practice every day. Our handouts and class support videos will help you to remember the movements and will reinforce what you’ve learned in class.
How do I decide which class to enroll in?
Take a look at our home page and registration form for descriptions of our classes. If you still have questions, we’ll be happy to help you choose the class that’s best for you: just contact Lisa Rawson at Lisa@WestchesterTaiChiCenter.com or 914-815-1922.