Originally one of the ancient Chinese martial arts, Tai Chi (or Taijiquan) is practiced today by students primarily as a method of exercise that cultivates physical and mental harmony in movements. Scientific studies show that Tai Chi improves and possibly prevents chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. In fact, practicing Tai Chi regularly helps reduce stress, improve balance and coordination, strengthen immune systems, and develop body awareness and confidence. Eight Pieces of Brocade is primarily designated as a form of medical qigong, meant to improve health. It consists of eight separate exercises coupled with deep breathing – which are primarily used as warm-ups in this intro class before practicing the Tai Chi form. Wear soft, comfortable clothes and soft-soled shoes such as flat sneakers. Outdoor shoes are not permitted inside the studio. Please make sure to attend the very first class where the instructor will give a brief introduction to the history and benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong, as well as a demo of the Tai Chi form.
Virginia Payne has been practicing the traditional Yang style Tai Chi long form since 1990, along with its complete suite of Tai Chi Push-Hands, Sanshou, Sword, and Saber. She has been teaching Tai Chi since 2001 at the Chinese Language School in Lexington on Sundays. She has also taught Tai Chi in Boston for a research project in MGH, and at various Health/Fitness Centers, including to the students at Jonas Clark Middle School in Lexington for their 2011 musical play production “Mulan”.