Our Taiji Lineage:
Yang Lu Chan, Yang Cheng Fu, Cheng Man-Ching, Huang Sheng Shyan, Patrick Kelly
A complete, 85 minute class is composed of 5 loosening exercises, a 37 posture short form or 108 posture long form, 8 fixed Tuisho (push hands / partner work), and meditation.
The practice is broken up into 4 distinct phases, each building on the next and creating a cycle for progressive growth and learning on the different levels of training.
Five loosening exercises: from Huang Sheng Shyan - These five exercises are for coordinating the body, mobilizing and loosening the hip joints, spine and shoulder girdle. They introduce students to the fundamental Taiji principles of smooth and continuous movements, waves of movement through the body, and generating pressure from the feet through the body.
Short form (Chen Man-Ching) / Long form (Yang Chen Fu): Students first learn 37 posture short form, followed by 108 posture long form. We teach the forms as refined by master Huang and further refined by Patrick Kelly. Emphasis is on smooth, accurate movements, listening to and producing intention on waves of pressure moving through the body.
Tuisho: Tuisho patterns are also known as 'pushing hands,' though this can give the wrong idea, as it is mainly about deep listening and connection with a partner. We teach 8 fixed pattern partner exercises and applications. The focus is on soft, accurate refined movement, combined with deep listening of the subtle energizing and activation of the nervous system, first through your own body, then into a partners. When done well, true 'Fa Jin,' or elastic wave force that moves through your body and into the partners.
Meditation: Meditation is practiced at the end of each class. We teach shutting down the superficial mind, listening into deep body sensations and energy circulation related to the lower dantien; then, energy is raised and expanded from chest, and some exercises are practiced from middle dantien. For more experienced students, 2 years or more, we bring energy into upper dantien as well.
Practice at least 2 times a week. We ask that students practice a minimum of 2 times / week. Your deeper part wants to grow. In the beginning it is a delicate connection that needs to be nurtured. This happens through sincere effort both on the part of the student and the teacher. Practicing a minimum of 2 times a week gives a chance for the deeper part to grow in a balanced and strong way.
Benefits of the Practice
Listed below are some of the benefits you can expect when you begin to practice taiji. What is listed are mainly the external benefits (of the body), but on each of the levels there are internal components that begin to develop and grow of their own accord.
Taiji is a practice that begins with training and coordinating smooth external movements of the body with deep listening and awareness, followed by the use of intention which gradually produces fine control of the muscle states.
Loosening of tight muscles and joints around pelvic girdle and shoulder girdle.
Improved spinal alignment and posture.
Deep breathing increases flow of oxygen into system.
Gentle continuous movement improves blood circulation and lymphatic circulation.
Learning to relax in a way that produces increased stability through elastic muscle stretching. One of the reasons we require training 2x / week is for developing the neural pathways associated with sensory and motor neurons. To maintain a condition of growth and change, stimulation is needed at least twice a week. This training has an exponential increase as the body changes, day to day, week by week, over the months and years.
We train together as a group, so that the combined effort of all the students produces a good, concentrated atmosphere. The partner exercises inevitably produce some pressure and stimulation on the part of our emotional system that is connected to the bodies intelligence and chemical responses to external stimuli.
Remain calm and present during stressful situations.
Discover innate reactions and emotional tendencies in a safe environment.
Gradually refine gross reactions to emotional / physical stimuli, and learn to respond.
Sense of well-being, confidence, and clarity that comes from doing internal work.
Chemical response of dopamine and serotonin from effort / reward, and from calm that comes from practice.
At each stage of training the use of intention is emphasized, first, through awareness and listening, then through actively trying to change. This use of intention gradually produces a deep focus and ability to concentrate.
Online Taiji Resources
If you want to deep dive into reading about Energy Cultivation, Self Refinement, and Meditation, please see Patrick's website, WorldWideWay.org for loads of fascinating information.
Patrick's taiji system can be read about at PatrickKellyTaiji.com
Guillem Bernadó manages Patrick's 9 Clouds taiji studio in Shanghai, China and has practiced taiji since 2005. He offers a comprehensive online taiji school to complement in-person studies. Check out TaijiStream.com
Study with senior taiji teachers in this lineage around the world.