Studying with Longwater Tai Chi
At Longwater Tai Chi we have classes to suit many interests and needs and they are often taught very differently from each other. Firstly you need to do a little research to find out what style of Tai Chi or type of class would suit you best, so have a good look around our website and contact us if you are still not sure or would prefer to talk through your options.
It may be that you don't actually need to join a class that is learning a traditional tai chi 'form', where you learn, practise and start to remember a set of sequential movements - perhaps you would be better off in one of our popular Tai Chi-Qigong exercise classes that is centred around copying gentle movements for health and wellbeing.
If you have limited movement or are recovering from injury or illness for instance, you possibly would not want to join a class which includes exploring the martial applications of tai chi (although this can be done and enjoyed in many ways and we have a number of students who took to this in their late 60s and beyond).
If you're the sort of person who likes a challenge that keeps the mind fully occupied, and you are willing to commit to a long term project, then one of our Tai Chi Chuan classes would suit you well; and you will of course also gain all the health benefits as you practice. These classes also progress to practising partner work, which is very useful for learning how to be mindful and relaxed through personal contact.
The 70% Rule
At the heart of all we teach is the 70% rule. Simple in meaning, it has very deep roots and is an essential principle of learning Tai Chi and Qigong for health and longevity and is at the heart of Taoist practices.
Living and learning in moderation is a very alien concept to many of us who are part of the go-for-the-burn, no-pain-no-gain philosophy of the modern world. In Taoist terms this is seen as "practising towards death."
Strain can be seen as a result of breaking the 70% rule - it is a physiological condition caused by excessive exercise or too much tension / adrenaline. This shouldn't be confused with effort, which may left you feeling tired and exercised, but not physically, emotionally or mentally injured.
And the rule is...
Practise towards life. Quite simply, by completing any Tai Chi or Qigong technique to only 70% of your current capacity you can:
- absorb what you learn more easily.
- reduce your internal resistance & maintain the effort for longer.
- store your energy for a time when you really need it.
- increase your capacity as you practise, without stress.
Importantly, this rule assumes you are in normal health. If you are experiencing stress or discomfort at a physical, emotional or mental level, you must adjust the rule to suit your condition. So for a physical injury that is healing you may use the 50% rule for a few months until you feel a release occur, than you may practise using the 60% for the next month, to gradually return your body to normal.
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