Tai Chi in Lincoln
We have been providing classes, private lessons and workshops of Tai Chi in Lincoln since 1996. For further information about our Tai Chi and Chi Kung activities, please visit our sister company’s own website at the following link:
Terminology & Pronunciation
There are two main forms of translating Chinese Wade Giles and Pinyin.
Tai Chi (or more correctly “T’ai Chi” (pronounced tie chee), Wade Giles is written Taijiquan in Pinyin.
Similarly Chi Kung (pronounced chee gung), Wade Giles is written Qigong in Pinyin.
Tai Chi and Chi Kung
Movement is essential for our health. Many of our bodily systems rely upon movement for their proper functioning. The Chinese have developed specialised exercises to maintain the proper functioning of the human body.
With the advent of unnatural styles of living we have become accustomed to e.g. sitting at a desk for several hours a day, working under prolonged stress where the fight or flight mechanism operates for much of our lives without us ever ‘coming down’.
Chinese therapeutic exercise works differently to modern types of western exercise, which often concentrates upon the cardiovascular system and the visual aspect of muscles, which often results in contracted muscles and closed joint spaces.
Chinese therapeutic exercise seeks to lengthen muscles, open joints and encourage the free circulation of Qi and blood throughout the whole body, not just the muscular frame but also the internal organs.
During practice, the student learns to actually feel the subtle circulations within their body. Anyone who has seen the amazing demonstrations of physical prowess of elderly Shaolin monks will understand the incredible potential of such exercises.
Our clinic offers classes and private lessons in both of these arts.
What Is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi (pronounced “tie-chee”) is a combination of physical exercise, theoretical study, internal alchemy and philosophy that has developed over hundreds of years in China.
Actually, Tai Chi is a form of Chi Kung (Chinese remedial and therapeutic exercise) that emphasises the correct use of the body and breath.
Originally Tai Chi was developed as a martial art. Today it is generally seen more as a healing art. In fact, both are inextricably linked.
As a martial art it can be formidable, which is why, traditionally, advanced knowledge of the art was veiled in secrecy and only passed on to students ready for the responsibility.
The Benefits of Regular Practice
If practised properly, Tai Chi can serve to unblock the body’s energy channels, improve Qi (vital energy) and blood circulation, regulate organ function and increase the amount of Qi available. As a result of its calming effect, regular practice can transform our reaction to everyday circumstances and change our perceptions of reality by fostering a positive consciousness.
Tai Chi teaches us how to use our bodies in the most bio-mechanically efficient manner in order to produce maximum results from minimum efforts. It develops a relaxed alertness of body, mind and spirit. It can make our bodies pliable and more able to sustain physical injury.
What is involved in the Practice of Tai Chi?
Practice of the ‘form’ which, in the case of Yang family Tai Chi, contains 108 steps.
Pushing hands, which is the application of the movements learnt within the practice of the form and the further development of sensitivity. By the refined and infinitesimal differentiation of yin and yang one learns to ‘use the force of four ounces to repel a thousand pounds’.
Application of the movements within the form.
What is Chi Kung?
Chi Kung (pronounced ‘chee gung’) is a combination of physical exercise, theoretical study, internal alchemy and philosophy that has developed over thousands of years in China. It is firmly based upon the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Similar systems of exercise have developed in other parts of the world and, although, they come in different guises, they all have one common theme: the cultivation of intrinsic energy. Whether it be the “ki” of Japanese martial & healing arts, the Qi (or ch’i) of the Chinese internal arts, the prana of yoga, or whatever, practices that foster the development of our intrinsic energy have existed for millennia.
Chi Kung is such a far reaching concept that it is difficult to define concisely. However, this is what I have come up with to date:
Chi Kung is a systematic collection of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that endeavour to balance and integrate every aspect of human existence. In short, it enables us to feel better, achieve more and lead happier lives. It has evolved as a method of self-culture for several thousand years in China. It’s methods are often blindingly simple and versatile. So it can be used by old and young, fit and infirm or strong and weak. The fundamental premise of Chi Kung is to accumulate and encourage the free-flow of what the Chinese call Qi.
Qi is not some mystical phenomenon that only the ‘gifted’ can access. Qi is a Chinese word used to describe the very essence of an organism, its vitality. When applied to human beings, it refers to the collective of all forces within and without the body-mind that manifest in that person’s existence. We can readily assess the state of a person’s Qi at any one time by how it manifests in their complexion, eyes, state of mind, voice, posture, shape and function. It is real! Chi Kung gives us a tool to manipulate these through regular practice.”
The concept of Qi has been used in healing practices for thousands of years. Qi is the universal energy that exists in everything and is everywhere. It can exist in different states and qualities. For example, on a human level, Qi can manifest as blood, bio-electrical energy, body fluids etc.; on a larger scale, lightning, wind, the energy of moving water etc. The concept of Qi can be used to explain the workings of the human body in an holistic manner, where each individual’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual existence is entirely unique.
The flow of Qi throughout the body can be experienced or sensed with relative ease. This is where Chi Kung practice starts.
Although Chi Kung is sometimes considered a separate art in itself, the term “Chi Kung” could include taiChi, meditation and any other practice that is based upon the exercise of our subtler energies.
The Benefits of Regular Practice
Some types of Chi Kung are designed primarily to support and cultivate the body’s intrinsic energy, while others enhance the flow of energy and remove blockages, which manifest as aches, pains or discomfort. Often, both are achieved.
Stagnation of this energy or the weakening of its flow inevitably leads to less than perfect health and, in more advanced cases, illness. This illness may be accompanied with symptoms as obvious as those associated with a cold or, on a subtler level, negative thought, continual tiredness or irritability.
Chi Kung aims to cure and prevent illness by removing energy blockages and smoothing and increasing the flow of energy throughout our bodies. By regular practice we can maintain and improve our health and develop an increased feeling of vitality and general wellbeing.
At a higher level, Chi Kung also has the capacity to develop our spiritual faculties, by expanding our consciousness and allowing our inner wisdom to emerge.
In more familiar terms, regular practice of Chi Kung can:
improve one’s ability to relax
improve energy and blood circulation
improve the respiratory and cardiovascular condition of the body
as a result of its calming effect, promote a positive attitude
Similarities with Meditation
Both Chi Kung and Tai Chi practices involve an aspect of meditation. As such, they also accrue the benefits of meditation such as a calmer more peaceful outlook on life’s challenges. The benefits of meditation and the mindfulness it brings are also now well rooted in scientific research.
What is Involved in the Practice of Chi Kung?
This generally depends on the type of Chi Kung being practised. Typically, it involves a combination of both static & moving postures. Movements are mostly soft and flowing and suitable for anyone, young, old or infirm. Different postures are intended to have a positive effect on different internal organs, but often are beneficial to them all. Some can be quite strenuous whilst others are extremely relaxing. Sometimes it involves purely the use of the mind to accumulate or direct Qi.
Sean lives and works in North Hykeham, Lincoln. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has studied Chi Kung, Tai Chi and Chinese medicine in the UK, China and Japan. He started his training in oriental martial and healing arts in 1984. Since then, he has lived in and travelled to various parts of the Orient to further his knowledge.
Further details of his background and experience can be found on his biography page.
Simon (the good-looking one on the left!) first started Tai Chi in 2006 to ‘try out’ Martial Arts, thinking he could always try out something more interesting if it didn’t work out. Fortunately for Simon, it did work out, and he has since enjoyed both the physical and emotional benefits Tai Chi offers, in all aspects of his life
Working as a Finance Manager for a national charity can be reasonably stressful on occasions but Tai Chi has enabled Simon to manage these stresses more easily. In order to help others at the charity to benefit in the same way, Simon started teaching Tai Chi at his place of work in 2011.
The awareness of alignment and structure in the body which Tai Chi teaches, has meant Simon has been able to reduce his visits for Acupuncture and Chiropractic and meant his other interest – running – has been almost injury free since he started learning Tai Chi.
For further information about our Tai Chi and Chi Kung activities in Lincoln, please visit Sean's Lifestyles Healing & Martial Arts site.
What to do next
To register with Lifestyles Healing & Martial Arts or to ask any further questions please contact us via our sister company’s own website at the following link:
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