If you’ve ever seen a bunch of people practicing T’ai Chi in the park and wondered what it’s all about, you’ll have your chance on Sunday—take our class with Judith Poole! Along with teaching Qigong and T’ai Chi, Judith practices energy medicine (including Reiki) and periodically offers a course on sacred writing as well.
What is T’ai Chi?
T’ai Chi, one of many qigong forms, is an ancient Chinese discipline, often referred to as a moving meditation. More highly choreographed than qigong postures, and designed to enhance chi flow, T’ai Chi has both internal alchemy and martial arts applications. The practice of T’ai Chi, as with the many Qigong forms, cultivates health, relieves stress on body and mind, increases stamina and bone health, and incorporates principles of grounding and good posture.
What unique benefits can people derive from T’ai Chi compared to yoga or other martial arts disciplines?
T’ai Chi is a moving, upright form whereas many yoga postures are done on mats. Both are mind/body disciplines with an internal non-competitive focus. Individual preferences vary. There are many different T’ai Chi forms as there are many yoga styles. I teach Yang Style short form.
You’ve been practicing T’ai Chi since 1983. How and why did you first come to study it, and how has it changed your life over the past thirty years?
In 1983 I was a single parent in a stressful job and had developed Crohn’s Disease along with many complications common to autoimmune diseases, including fatigue and joint pain. I had tried various yoga classes but was not comfortable doing things on the floor because I had several ruptured discs. I saw classes advertised at Interface, a center teaching mind/body and spiritual practices.The first class included several profound meditation practices. I could sense that moving my vital energy as directed was health promoting. The same evening, T’ai Chi was offered. It took me longer to master T’ai Chi. Gradually my body changed, allowing me to distribute my weight differently, become more grounded, improve my balance, and enjoy the sense of mastery, though it was slow in coming. I began to teach this Yang Style Short form, and soon discovered how much small postural corrections can bring major changes.
Your class is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, right?
Children can benefit from learning T’ai Chi, but for this occasion it would be difficult to design a class to meet the needs of all ages. I have therefore suggested that this class is appropriate for adults.
Where can they go if Skillshare students love your class and want to keep practicing? Do you offer classes in and around Somerville?
I teach a two-week Taoist Meditation class and a four-week Qigong class twice a year in Newtonville at Newton Community Education held at Newton North High School on alternate sessions. It is not too late to register for the next “Three Taoist Meditation” class on March 3rd and 11th. The next Qigong class will be held in the Spring, April 22th to May 13th.
I do not currently have a T’ai Chi class running. If enough participants are interested in having a class, we can organize one. It would likely be at a facility in Watertown.
Visit Judith on the web at HealingPoole.com.