10:00 – 11:30 A.M.

2:30 – 4:00 P.M.

TUESDAYS, 9:00 – 10:00 A.M.

TUESDAYS, 10:30 – 11:30 A.M.

THURSDAYS, 5:00 – 6:30 P.M.

Our Day At Golden State Championships

A hush fell over the gathered crowd as Master Li Shu Dong’s  Golden State Championships Opening Ceremonies began in San Jose.  Our group proudly marched in with others who had come for Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and Kung Fu demonstrations and competition.

Following Master Li’s welcome and an impressive rendition of the National Anthem by one of his students, we joined more than two hundred to perform the 24 Yang Style Tai Chi Form and Ba Duan Jin Qi Gong.

As Master demonstrations started, an explosive Kung Fu group made us feel as if we were watching warriors at the Shaolin Temple.  More exquisite performances followed.  A large group, divided into rows, simultaneously presented Ba Duan Jin, Yi Jin Jing, Wu Qin Xi, and Liu Zi Jue Qi Gong Forms endorsed by the Chinese Health Qi Gong Association (of which Master Li is Vice Director).  Master Gao Jia Min, beautifully dressed in white silk, elegantly flowed through the 24 Yang Style Tai Chi Form to the accompaniment of a small child’s playing the butterfly harp.

On and on the expertise was shown as tiny children seemed to fly through the air, teenagers  exhibited amazing power, and adults of all ages calmly showed internal strength.

What a wonderful experience it was  to be  part of such an occasion.  Some of our group enjoyed the “nearly Olympic”  feeling while others were inspired to raise levels of proficiency higher.  Thank you, Master Li, we look forward to more of your programs in the future.

Let’s Celebrate

Is success as you progress in learning Tai Chi a cause for celebration?  Of course it is!  We were honored to be a part of Eleanor’s celebration for six months of Tai Chi practice.  Eleanor shared her struggles beginning Tai Chi study several times previously and lasting only a few weeks before becoming discouraged and dropping out.

Six months ago, when she joined our class, Eleanor was shy and hesitant, but this wonderful group of people is supportive and encouraging.  Eleanor has faithfully continued, and she brought lovely fruit for the class to enjoy her accomplishments along with her.  Pointing to a little sign on which she had drawn a “smiley face” beside the refreshments, she said,”That’s not a smile; it’s an ear to ear grin!”

How special to share in that joy!!

World Tai Chi Day 2013

“We should do this more often,” was the general feeling expressed as about fifty Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioners enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air in Petaluma’s Lucchesi Park On Saturday, April 27.  Some obviously were experiencing the joy of practicing the forms in the great outdoors for the first time, and it is truly an awesome feeling.  For a day that had begun with a slight drizzle, warmth rose from the grass, and the sky became bright blue by 10:00 a.m.

As we raised our arms toward heaven, a song from childhood flooded my mind:  “God’s beautiful world… I love God’s beautiful world.  He made it for you; He made it for me.  I love God’s beautiful world.”

One World, One Breath – World Tai Chi Day came into being several years ago when a large group gathered at the end of April to celebrate Tai Chi.  The idea spread, and now the last Saturday in April – preferably at 10:00 a.m. – honors the many benefits of Tai Chi.  It circles the globe starting in the earliest time zones of New Zealand, continuing through  Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America, ending in Hawaii at the close of the day, joining the world as one breath.

Tai Chi or Qi Gong for All Ages

Tai chi is an activity often referred to as being suitable for all ages. Is it really? My experience answers with a very strong YES! The youngest practitioner I’ve taught came to me when he was five years old. He said he wanted to begin classes, so I started to tell him all about Kung Fu as that is what most children his age practiced. He stopped me. “I don’t want to take Kung Fu,” he said, and I was thinking, “Why is he here?” He let me know right away; “I want to take Tai Chi,” he asserted, and I was delighted.

Spanning the age range 100 years is a dear lady who celebrated her 105th birthday in December. She comes every week to practice with her group. When she isn’t exercising, you might find her working a crossword puzzle or enjoying a little parakeet who likes to sit on her shoulder..

Tai Chi or Qi Gong for all ages? That about covers it.

What Can Tai Chi Do For You?

…Quite a lot according to this item in the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Workout’s Benefits:  Tai Chi, the martial art that has become popular as a gentle mind-body workout, may have another benefit:  helping to increase the size of the brain.  That, scientists hope, could unlock a clue to staving off and even preventing dementia.  Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three time a week increased their brain volumes and scores on tests of memory and thinking, according to a study by scientists from the University of South Florida and Fudan University in Shanghai published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Coaches’ Training Course

The first Health Qi Gong Coach Training Program sponsored by China Health Qi Gong  Association in the USA was hosted by Master Li Shu Dong, president of USA Health Qi Gong Federation at his studio in Cupertino.   The course, held June 12, 13, and 14,  met six hours each day.  Two excellent professors from Beijing University, Masters Liu, Yuping and Song, Weixiu led the sessions.  As our goal was to become certified at National Coach Level, the program was intense and demanding with testing at the close of the last day.  The four Health Qi Gong Forms – Ba Duan Jin, Wu Qin Xi, Yi Jin Jing, and Liu Zi Jue –  chosen and being taught world-wide by China’s Health Qi Gong Association, were all taught during those three days, and each participant could choose which form or forms to be tested on.  I decided to try all four, thinking to give myself better odds, and was very pleased to be certified in all four.

New Beginning Class in Petaluma

Following Bob Canning’s recent article in the Argus that brought attention to the health and life benefits of Tai Chi, the 10:00 A.M. Monday Morning Tai Chi Class has experienced an increase in attendance.  To better serve both new-comers and the ongoing class, Petaluma Recreation’s Don Streeper and Jan Manadrell have made it possible to add a Wednesday morning  session – thus creating a Monday/Wednesday 10:00 a.m. Tai Chi schedule.

At first the new class will focus on Tai Chi fundamentals as they learn the 24 Yang Style Form.  Though this is a basic foundation for beginners, it is valuable at any level.  Once the group has learned the form, they will continue practicing and refining the movements just as the Monday class does.  At that time, we hope all whose schedules permit will attend  Mondays and Wednesdays.   The class meets both days at the Kenilworth Building, 150 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma.

One World, One Breath

Another beautiful day, another delightful gathering as fifty plus Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioners shared their various forms in Cotati’s lovely La Plaza Park on World Tai Chi Day.  Bob Flannery’s group that practices there each Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m. was first on the scene, and others soon followed.   

Everyone joined us in our head-to-toe warmup, Ba Duan Jin Qi Gong, and 24 Movement Yang Tai Chi – which they insisted we repeat three times.  Bob then led us through some of his warmups, Qi Gong, and parts of their Tai Chi Form.  We followed Juliette, who teaches Qi Gong,  and relaxed into  gentle movements as we enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine and the refreshing breeze.  This special  time came to a close with a stunning Tai Chi Fan performance by Maggie Mackey who also teaches Tai Chi and Qi Gong.

The joy of being together, meeting new people, and experiencing different forms is a pleasant memory we carry with us and hope there will be more such occasions.