Tai Chi & Qigong

Do you often find your mind scattered and wondering, preventing you from delving into a mindfulness practice?
Do you struggle sitting still to focus on your work and tasks?
Would you like to improve balance, coordination, energy levels, detoxing, and more?

Try Tai Chi and Qigong!

Tai Chi Classes with Candice

Integrate breath with gentle movement to reduce stress, enhance awareness, and align the mind, body, and spirit. The Traditional Wu Form is characterized by spiral and circular movements that increase chi flow, energy, strength, resilience, balance, and grace.

Spring 2024 Session March 28th - June 14th  
$144 (12 Class Series) payment plans available  
Location: Mckinleyville (location available upon registration)  

Beginning Wu (Level 1)  Friday’s 9:30-10:45
Intermediate Wu (Level 2) Thursday’s 10:45-12:00  
Advance Wu Practice (Level 3) Thursday’s 9:30-10:30 (Class FULL w/ Wait List)  

Beginning class learns the first 30 movements. The remaining movements are explored in the intermediate and advanced classes.  

Email contact@herballivingandhealing.com for class availability, location, registration, or to be placed on the wait list.

Benefits of Tai Chi & Qigong:
-Improve posture, balance, coordination & body awareness
-Gently strengthen your body & increase flexibility
-Support emotional health & well-being
-Reduce feelings of stress & anxiety
-Reduce pain & tension
-Build organ resilience supporting immune, heart, lung, and digestive functions.
-Enhance self-awareness and be present in the moment
-Increase energy & focus
-Improve the flow and integration of your energy systems

There are endless benefits to calm awareness. Our ability to connect to the experience of our breath, movement, and everything around us. To slow down and appreciate the present moment for what it is. It is not an easy practice to develop for many, especially those who have been raised in our face-paced world filled with endless distractions. There are practices that can help teach us how to develop more mindfulness.

Tai Chi (T’ai Chi Chuan, Taiji chuan) and Qigong are ancient meditative martial arts practiced for over a thousand years. Both are known to help balance and align the mind, body and spirit and support various aspects of the body’s innate ability to heal.

When we integrate our breath with intentions and slow movement we loosen our joints and tissues throughout the body, promoting relaxation and releasing tension while gently toning and strengthening the body, mind and spirit.

A little daily or weekly practice can enhance energy and mental clarity, sooth stress, reduce anxiety and depression, stimulate the immune system, improve posture, balance and coordination, strengthen neurological functions, bone density and more.

Explore this life changing meditative practice with me and learn various exercises to support every wonderful and challenging aspect of your life.

What is the difference between Tai Chi & Qigong? 

Tai chi is often described as a more complex form of qigong. Both practices yield similar overall health benefits but there is a subtle difference between them.

There are many layers and depths to tai chi and your understanding of them comes more and more with time and practice. The philosophy of tai chi involves incorporating the concepts of the Tao into everyday life, finding your inner balance and harmony within yourself and the relationship to everything and everyone around you.

When you practice Tai Chi, you are combining various movements into a sequence or form and each movement flows fluidly from one movement to the next, using breath, the shifting of your weight and waist turning to either gather or deliver chi with each movement. Every movement in tai chi has an element of yin (gathering of chi) and a yang (delivery of chi). When we practice this, we get to move and build our internal and external chi. We get to feel and express our chi. We get to break up the stagnant energy patterns we hold onto and feel free as we release the blockages and encourage our chi to flow strongly. When we practice this, we experience many mental, emotional and physical healing benefits. (see extensive list below)

Qigong, is a little different in the sense that we tend to repeat the same movement and it incorporates other tools such as meridian and acupressure massage, acu-tapping and more. Some qigong practices do include forms or multiple movements; however, you usually spend time repeating each individual movement before moving onto the next. There are many kinds of qigong. I teach very basic qigong movements for stress relief, immune health, building and cleansing energy, and strengthening organs. We spend time tapping on or tracing various meridian points or over the entire body to break up and stimulate our chi/energy. I teach a few basic meridian tracing exercises to all beginner students. As you progress, you learn how to trace your individual meridians to maintain healthy flow of energy.

Some of the endless health benefits of increasing & strengthening our chi through Tai chi and/or Qigong practice:

*Stimulate the lymphatic and immune systems  
*Massage, stimulate and improve organ functions  
*Strengthen bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments  
*Increase synovial fluids in the joints and bone marrow production  
*Improve balance, coordination, flexibility and range of motion (this is especially important for fall prevention in the elderly population)  
*Encourage the production of our feel-good hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin, bringing wonderfully uplifting yet tranquil feelings  
*Increase mental alertness, focus and clarity  
*Reduce cortisol and other stress hormones to prevent and ease stress and anxiety  
*Regulate natural sleep patterns and restore energy levels  
*Gently support pain, tension, arthritis and recovery from injuries/surgery  
*Release pain and trauma (emotional or physical) from a place of love and compassion  
*Increase oxygen delivery throughout the cells of the body  
*Enhance intuition  
*Receive other mind-body-spirit benefits of meditation and deep breathing

Movement meditation can have varying benefits for different people; however, we can rely on this practice to balance our energy and do what we need in that moment to be in balance. If we need an energetic and mental boost while maintaining the sense of being grounded and interconnected, we can get those benefits from Tai chi. If we need to relax and ground ourselves from everyday stress, anxiety, pain and trauma, then we can find balance and comfort in our practice.  

As we delve deeper into our body, mind, heart and spirit, we get the incredible opportunity for self-discovery and self-exploration, delving into our inner layers, peeling one at a time, reveling more of our ‘true’ or innate self. Tai chi and/or qigong as a regular practice is a wonderful and inspiring self-journey of a life time and it is never too late to start.  

My Healing Journey with Tai Chi & Qigong

I have had a beautiful journey with Tai Chi as my practice has supported me while healing from various injuries and restoring my body from chronic illness. It has been a key practice for managing stress and deepening my intuition. Allowing me to connect to my healing journey and flow through life with joy and purpose.  

My first tai chi classes were in college when I was looking to incorporate meditation as a daily practice but found it very challenging to sit and calm the mind. My mind was overactive and would not calm down to achieve any benefits of sitting meditation. I found the frustration counter-productive.  

I explored tai chi, qigong, and yoga. I found tai chi and qigong, in particular, to be exactly what I needed to calm my mind and feel relaxed. I was able to think about my breath and integrate it with my movement. As my arm came across to block, I would imagine myself a beautiful bird spreading her wings looking over the cliff or ocean. I was able to use my mind-body connection and visualizing nature to achieve a state of meditation and peace.  

The layers we are taught to think about when we practice tai chi and qigong began reprogramming my mind to be more focused and aware. Taking time to breath more deeply while stretching the body, and encouraging the flow of energy/chi, reprograms our stress response to feel safe, more relaxed, and at peace.  

I find Tai chi and qigong to help me manage my stress, anxious thoughts, pain and fatigue from autoimmunity, focus, energy and more.  The more I practice, the more I get to know my inner and true self as I bring my breath and awareness in my body. Aligning my body and mind with my heart and spirit.    

I am exploring how I can apply what I learn from my practice to every aspect of my daily life such as stress management, enjoying the present moment, enhancing my listening skills and connections with others, being connected to and aware of my environment, having appropriate boundaries and learning how to be assertive without being abrasive, etc.  

Tai chi practice can help balance your personality, demeanor and behavior. I personally tend to be more “yang” in nature so I use my practice to help release the excess yang in my life and restore my “yin” so I may continue my journey of being in harmony with my true SELF in relationship to my environment.    

We all have different journeys in life. I hope you explore your journey with Tai chi, Qigong, or other mindfulness practices.