I fell in love with Tai Chi during my first class. I became addicted to the art and was in class at 7:30am four days a week. I learned so much about my body, energy flow, and even spirituality in those morning classes. While I have not been in a regular class now for many years, I still practice Standing Qi Gong, a qi gong standing form, and an old Daoist practice called shaking and breathing.
My holistic minded friend Frances Phelps has written a lovely blog post that I want to share with you. She has been an advanced tai chi student and teacher almost as long as I have known her. If you are a pregnant woman, or know anyone who is, share this blog post with them. It will help them enjoy their pregnancy and feel more comfortable in their body.
Tai Chis is good self-care for the mother-to-be and her baby!
I was deep into my pregnancy and practicing Tai Chi regularly when I began to recognize how much Tai Chi kept me going. My legs and ankles were already swollen. I had terrible heartburn, and I had to move every 10 minutes to be comfortable. Yet my legs and back were strong, my back and joints flexible and mobile, and I could move through the Tai Chi postures that allowed my mind and body to relax.
I decided more pregnant women needed access to this, not only to exercise effectively but as a way of managing stress. The body positioning and core movements of Tai Chi are unique in that they balance the yin and yang in the system and remove blockages in qi. What that translates into is feeling strong and stable in my lower body, and without tension and stress in my upper body. When qi is flowing freely in the body, the mind and emotions become calm and peaceful.
Pregnancy was a tumultuous time of change. First and foremost was the immense love I felt for the little human being growing inside me. However, the stressors of our lives don’t change when we become pregnant – they increase. Because I physically and mentally felt much better after practicing Tai Chi, I looked at my practice as a way to nurture myself and my child. It became a part of my self-care routine.
Tai Chi in general has great health and wellness benefits when practiced correctly. The Tai Chi for Pregnancy course at Chi Force takes the traditional hard and soft movements of Tai Chi and modifies them into a gentler routine. It focuses on proper structural alignment, that is the body positioning that allows the qi to flow freely and balance yin and yang, and full-body movement.
At Chi Force, we go a step further by providing comprehensive Tai Chi instruction similar to an online college course. At most in-person schools, students learn gradually by following the movements of their instructor, and then overtime they begin to understand how to position their bodies, move between postures, and to find the midpoint between yin and yang. Chi Force provides the information in reverse. Their videos analyze and break down every position and movement so that students are able to understand first, and then practice. While we do have online classes to support entirely remote students, the video library is a valuable reference for more experienced practitioners, and an essential asset for the beginner whether they are training entirely online or in person.