Tai Chi Class

Welcome to WholenessInMotion. Tai chi is a whole body and mind exercise that combines meditation, martial art and health tonic in one. This particular form is the Yang style, 37 posture short form as taught by Prof. Cheng Man-ch'ing. This fascinating and intricate exercise has many benefits and just about anyone can practice it.

Take a look at this site and consider the study of relaxation and how it can benefit you in your daily life. I look forward to working with you. Tom Daly


Archive for July, 2015

Tai Chi Chuan – The 18 Therapies

Posted By Tom Daly on July 9th, 2015

Tai Chi Chuan – The 18 Therapies

Maggie Newman introduced the 18 therapies to us many years ago and insisted we do them in class for the longest time.  I recall that some of us were not happy with this set of exercises.

Today, I adore them.

They are simple.  They are not tai chi.  They give you a gentle stretch.

So what’s the big deal?

I like that because they are simple, you can use them to practice tai chi qualities, qualities that are hard to embody in the tai chi form.  While doing the 18 therapies you can focus on internal interconnections, the cellular movement, the ground, the air, your connection through the feet, the top of your head, the dangling of the spine, the weight on your tailbone and chinbone, the sense of being open and full on the inside, the smoothness of movement, the non-doing, the relaxation, the awareness of the room, the tan t’ien, the simultaneous awareness of the feet hands top of your head, having no thoughts, being present.

But there is more:  There is the task of finding the most efficient, simple, easeful movement possible.  To have the movement DO YOU, to let them open and close, to let them fulfill their own reason for being, to allow them to emerge.  To get out of the way.

No excess, no insufficiency.

There is nothing to really gain from these exercises with the exception of an optimal and tangible use of the body as an organism in space.  You don’t get stronger or have greater stretch.   Yet you do “get” a fuller use of your body in the simplest gesture.

They are boring.  You have to make them as meaningful as the elemental play of bone and muscle and ligament and tendon as possible.

It’s a good use of time because you don’t have to get anything.  You just have to be as fully engaged as you can be without that thought of gain.

We learned these exercises long after we were taught tai chi.  They seemed so pointless.  If you don’t “get”, why do?  If they don’t add to your success profile or your achievement list, what’s the point?  No one is going to applaud you for your brilliance in the 18 therapies.

But that IS the point!  Here you don’t DO, you are NON-DOING.  And in this way you get much much more.

True, there are other exercises that would embody all of this, and perhaps move your tai chi skill up the ladder of success.  But dismantling that tendency is the biggest challenge of all.  Giving into the 18 Therapies, and not using them for your personal advancement.

It’s like breathing.  Is that an achievement?  A success?

It’s just breathing.  It keeps you alive and that is plenty!

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