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.

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!!

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.”

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.

Learning With The Masters

Master Miao Fu Sheng leading 5 animal form Qi Gong workshop: <br />TIGER Claws 'Seizing The Prey'
Master Miao Fu Sheng leading 5 Animal Form Qi Gong workshop: TIGER Claws 'Seizing The Prey'

On the most beautiful day we have had all year, more than fifty practitioners gathered in Rohnert Park’s attractive Burton Recreation Center to learn centuries old Qi Gong movements for maintaining and achieving health and well-being.  Master Li Shu Dong, a former professor in China’s Luo Yang University who immigrated here in 1996 with exceptional ability in the field of martial arts, opened the event with an awe inspiring Tai Chi performance.  Wearing shimmering gold silk, he moved majestically as each elegant movement flowed with incredible balance and control.

Qi Gong Master Miao Fu Sheng 5 Animal Form: Deer antlers photo
'Colliding with the (Deer) Antlers' ~ Master Miao Fu Sheng leading 5 Animal Form Qi Gong workshop

Next, Master Miao Fu Sheng, professor from China’s Liao Ning University, who is traveling around the world with a the Chinese Health Qui Gong Association, demonstrated and proceeded to teach us the Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Form).

Qi Gong Master Miao Fu Sheng leading 5 Animal Form workshop: Monkey Picking Fruit
'Monkey Picking Fruit' ~ Master Miao Fu Sheng leading 5 Animal Form Qi Gong workshop
Instructor Keung Chan learning bird wings over head position at Master Miao Fu Sheng's 5 Animal Form Qi Gong workshop
Instructor Keung Chan learning Bird Wings (stretching over head) position at Master Miao Fu Sheng's 5 Animal Form Qi Gong workshop

This Qui Gong set encompasses the brave and wild temperament of the tiger, the rapid, smart and brisk pace of the running deer, the heavy, steady swaying of the bear, the nimble, cunning movements of the monkey, and the crane stretching it legs and spreading its wings for flying.

Master Miao’s delightfully interactive personality was a perfect fit for the lighthearted charm of the animals’ spirits. Though his explanations were in Chinese, translated by Master Li, his clever insertions of colloquial English – such as OK – and counting in English were enjoyed by the group.

As the workshop came to a close, we went our separate ways feeling refreshed and appreciative of the two masters who had so suberbly shared their wisdom and skills with us.  In our hearts, we vowed to continue personally practicing as well as sharing these movements for ultimate health.

Master Miao Fu Sheng finishing 5 Animal Form Qi Gong workshop in Rohnert Park California, brushing energy over head, down body
'Brushing energy over head, down body to Dan Tien' ~ Master Miao Fu Sheng finishing 5 Animal Form Qi Gong workshop in Rohnert Park, California

Taking Control of Your Diabetes

What a perfect day the TCOYD had for their Santa Rosa Conference.  Eight hundred men, women, and children gathered at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek for an all day program offering the latest information and technology for “Living Well With Diabetes”.  The Special guest speaker, Billy Mills, 10,000 Meter Race Olympic Gold Medalist, who is living well with diabetes, told the audience about his “Journey to Happiness and Understanding”.

It was my pleasure to introduce Tai Chi and Qi Gong – ideal exercises as a part of the over-all healthy lifestyle presented throughout the day for preventing diabetes, or, for those already diabetic, preventing complications.

Soft music was playing in the background while we practiced the Tai Chi/Qi Gong motions as the sun shone warmly over the beautiful courtyard.   Participants breathed deeply, and murmured surprised realizations:  “The pain I’ve had all day is gone;” “This feels so good;”  “It’s so relaxing.”   Sharing the benefits of Tai Chi and Qi Gong and talking with so many delightful people made my day truly wonderful.  I hope to be a part of this whole health centered convention whenever it comes to our area again.

An Amazing Secret of Orchestra Conductors

A recent article disclosed evidence proving orchestra conductors lead healthier, longer lives than almost any other group and are known for their vitality and vibrancy. At first, it was thought that the constant exposure to music might be the key, but this was not found to be true of all musicians.

It was eventually discovered that it is the “wing-flapping” motions these conductors do while performing. Research showed that these upper body exercises provided a better cardiovascular work-out than lower body exercises like walking, jogging, and bicycling.

These upper body movements expand the muscles of the chest, opening the lungs and flooding oxygen to the entire body. The movements also cause your heart to pump vigorously to propel blood and nutrients to muscles and organs. Thus oxygen and blood are able to reach tight, tense, constricted areas lowering blood pressure and circulating more blood to the brain to sharpen thinking.

Many of us are tired, achy, and sore from so much of our time spent in constricted positions that reduce the flow of blood and oxygen  A pleasant solution  – if you don’t plan to start conducting an orchestra – is the wonderful “wing-flapping” motions of TAI CHI AND QI GONG.  Check our listings for a class that fits your schedule.

Facts regarding conductors are taken from an article by Dr. Susan Lark, M.D.

Cross Train Your Brain

A novel form of “cross-training” brain exercises called “neurobics is designed to generate new neural pathways by presenting the brain with unexpected sensory and emotional experiences according to Robin Manning, creator of Neurobics.

Because neurobics exercises the various areas of the brain using all the senses, the growth of neutrophins is possible to strengthen synapses and dendrites.  Some suggestions are:

1.  Try using the opposite hand you usually use to eat, brush your teeth, comb your hair, or shave.

2. When you wake up, try smelling something different from the usual coffee such as peppermint, vanilla or rosemary.

3. Close your eyes while you shower to stimulate your tactile sense.

4. Turn the photos on your desk or shelf upside down.

5. Try reading an article upside down ( it’s not as difficult as it sounds).

6.  If you frequently use an elevator, learn the Braille numbers for floors.

7. Create a “sensory canister” containing aromatic herbs and spices like sage, thyme, or cloves.  When you dial a phone number, take a whiff from the canister and see if you can remember the number.

8.  Break your routine by driving to work a different way, shopping in a different supermarket, or eating in a different ethnic restaurant.

Once you get the idea, you can easily come up with your own neurobics, and I would add, begin a new exercise such as TAI CHI that uses both body and mind in ways different from your usual daily activities.

For more information check out Rubin’s site: as well as our class schedule.