A standing meditation posture called Universal Post
Class times for both in person classes and Zoom classes are Monday evening, from 6:30pm to 8pm, and Friday morning from 9:30am to 11am. In-studio classes, limited in size, are being held at Berkshire Pulse. We are also happy to offer Zoom classes unlimited in size, and private classes. Call 413-394-4196 or email GreatChi@BerkshireTaiChi.com for more information.
What is Tai Chi?
The life-enhancing art of tai chi has been practiced in China for hundreds of years. Now it is enjoyed by millions all over the world.
Tai chi is a form of moving meditation that calms the mind, relaxes the body and strengthens the spirit. The tai chi form is a series of gentle, flowing moves, practiced slowly and with focus, so it is ideal for people of all ages and health conditions.
Though most people take up tai chi for the tremendous health benefits, others are intrigued by the fact the style is actually a highly-effective martial art. Emphasis is placed on cultivating chi, or internal energy, as opposed to simply developing muscle mass and brute force, although practitioners find they do gain strength and flexibility as they learn to relax and move fluidly.
It is chi cultivation that makes tai chi so highly effective for good health, energy, and elevated spirit. Even beginners quickly discover how much calmer and more at peace they feel.
Berkshire Tai Chi is one of the few modern schools that can teach pure tai chi.
"Kathy and David are exceptional in making the material easy to understand...What make them special is their patience and kindness." ––Ted Abbott
What is Qi Gong (Chi Kung)?
Qi gong literally means chi work, or sustained effort to develop chi. Focus is on the breath, the moves or postures, and the mental intent. The tai chi solo form is actually a qi gong form.
There is medical qi gong for preventing and curing ailments, martial qi gong for self-defense, and spiritual qi gong, rooted in Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian practices, which includes meditation and contemplation.
Qi gong is an integral part of classes at Berkshire Tai Chi.
What are classes like at Berkshire Tai Chi?
|Learning to focus calms the mind and relieves tension.|
Tai chi classes at Berkshire Tai Chi are like little mental vacations. You leave the cares and stresses of the day at the door and enjoy enhancing your health and well-being in the company of friendly people under the guidance of caring, experienced teachers.
Students are encouraged to push themselves but not to overdo. Each person's class is a little different, with activities modified depending on age and physical condition. A stance can be done low or high, a movement fast or slow. Or skipped altogether.
Class starts with a warmup, followed by any combination of stances, breathing exercises, forms, qi gong, yoga, meditation, philosophy, or discussion of healthy life styles. Form work includes the tai chi solo and the qi gong form Push the Mountain, Move the Sea. Advanced students will learn weapons forms, such as staff and sword.
Students are expected to follow the code of honor of the Shaolin Warrior, called Wu De, described in this pdf.
Here are two forms taught at Berkshire Tai Chi, demonstrated by our brother teacher, Sifu David Block:
Solo Form, Part I
Push the Mountain, Move the Sea