Teaching Tai Chi in the Time of Coronavirus!
By Margaret Olmsted
The world is experiencing a major challenge these days. In a time when people more than ever need a way to relax and build their immune systems, we are asked to stay home and physical-distance. In-person tai chi classes have mostly stopped and many people are missing them. But tai chi teachers everywhere have gotten creative and are offering classes online using the Zoom app and other means.
We at the Tai Chi Foundation are right in step with this new trend with teachers in the US and Europe also offering classes using the Zoom app. The online classes are quite unique in that you are working alone at home but at the same time you can see lots of boxes on the computer screen with pictures of others also taking the class. (And when the class starts, you can just watch the teacher.) Some classes have had up to 75 people!
While we have always agreed that teaching tai chi via video is not the best way, qigong and the Eight Ways work well in this format. So, we don’t recommend teaching new moves in the form. But we do think that the Time in the Art format of leading thirds and rounds with various focuses is helpful. We recommend teaching online only for experienced teachers and not for those who are still new in the art. And we recommend teaching what you know and have embodied.
Penny is listing Zoom classes on our website so let her know what you are offering. https://www.taichifoundation.org/civicrm/showevents
You can also ask your local senior teacher. New students often visit the TCF website to find a local TCF teacher. Check that your listing is correct. https://www.taichifoundation.org/locations
The Zoom program is pretty easy to use. Here’s a helpful link.
In addition, the Tai Chi Foundation also has free tai chi videos and qigong on our website under Videos. And we also offer free seasonal qigong tunings which can be found at www.taichituning.com/video The next one starts April 11 but you can join any time.
We know that tai chi promotes relaxation as it calms the mind and centers our emotions. In addition, the slow breathing is good for our lungs, bending the knees strengthens the legs and focusing internally generates qi/energy. Daily practice builds the immune system. So let your friends, students and family know what is available to them at this time. And I’ll see you online!