What is the difference between Qigong and Taiji?
Qigong 氣功, (cheè gōng), is the study and practice of energy cultivation through moving meditation. All life has Qi, the intrinsic vital energy of all living things. Qigong was created to study and optimize human potential through body movement and meditation. There are many styles of Qigong, all of which are to benefit health and longevity. Some styles have a martial arts connection, and some have nothing to do with martial arts.
Taiji 太極拳, (tài jí) is both a practice of Qigong and Martial Arts. Every movement in Taiji is meditation in motion while simultaneously being highly effective in combat. Taiji practice produces Qi, aligns and strengthens the body, calms the breath and mind, and elevates the spirit. Instructors and styles focus on certain aspects of Taiji principles, such as soft and hard, fast and slow, internal Qi flow, martial application, push hands, health and healing and more. Taiji has such a sophisticated depth, it is more than one lifetime of study, and a worthy practice at that.
How do I sign up for my first class?
It’s best to call or email to confirm the class schedule and address any questions that aren’t answered here. You can refer to the Schedule page for more details for weekly class, and other classes such as workshops and seminars are under Events. You can find registration there.
When should I arrive for class?
Please arrive on time. If you are early, you are welcome to quietly stretch and personally warm-up in the back of the classroom until your class begins. Please avoid talking when class is in session.
Can I come to just observe a class?
We do not allow observation of classes, as this is a participatory practice. In Taiji and Qi Gong the attention is inward and must be experienced first-hand. It can also be distracting or disruptive to other students. We invite you to participate in class for yourself to determine if it is the right fit for you.
Where are the local classes held?
Classes are located at 1510 5th Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901. It is the First Presbyterian Church located at the crossroads of 5th and E streets. There is no parking available at the church itself, but there is street parking all around with easy access.
Is there a place for me to change into my clothing?
Yes, there is a large restroom you can use to change your clothing.
I have no experience with Taiji or Qi Gong, what do I need to do to prepare?
Beginning class is for beginners, so no preparation is necessary aside from your good intentions and interest.
What can I expect for my first class?
Classes are for one hour, we begin with stretching and warm-up, and then we follow with the form we are currently working on. Sometimes there will be an added Qi Gong exercise that relates to where the class it in it’s progress. Sometimes there will be a closer study of a part of the practice, either from the form, basic stances, posture, or application. You may receive alignment corrections and personal instruction in class. If you have any injuries or concerns, be sure to inform your instructor. To end class, we have a brief cool down, and centering Qi Gong. We then bow to the instructor and bow to each other as a show of mutual respect, fellowship, and gratitude. For more details see Bowing and Etiquette.
I have studied some other forms of Taiji and/or Qi Gong, which class do I come to?
There are many styles of Qi gong and Taiji so it is recommended to begin at the beginning to learn the foundations of this unique style and practice. After learning the basic foundations of the beginning class the instructor will extend an invitation to attend the intermediate class.
Is it ok to eat before class?
Best to practice when not too hungry or too full. If you eat before class, allow some time to digest beforehand. For example, one hour after an average sized meal.
Will Taiji and Qi Gong make me happy?
Yes and happiness is an emotion not a commodity. Taiji and Qi Gong are practices to investigate your internal realm while moving your body physically in a specific form. That’s why we call it moving meditation.
Workshops and Seminars
What do I do if I need to cancel?
Call (415) 450-8071 or email email@example.com or as soon as you know you’ll have to cancel.
Do I lose any money if I have to cancel?
There is a non-refundable cancellation fee of 25% if cancellation notice is received 14 or more days prior to the workshop date. After the 14th day cutoff date, there is no refund.
Can I transfer my deposit or payment to another person or my partner?
Transferring a deposit or payment to another person is not allowed.
Can I transfer my deposit or payment to another workshop?
Transferring a deposit or payment to another workshop or seminar is not allowed.
How does a waiting list work?
Once a retreat fills, we start a waiting list. A waiting list application is required to be placed on the list. No fees will be charged until you are offered a spot and you accept it. As we have cancellations, we will offer the spots to those on the waiting list. Once a spot becomes available, the next person on the waiting list will be contacted. At that time, we will give you a deadline by which we will need you to respond, or we will move on to the next person on the waiting list. The week leading up to the workshop, we will need a very quick response. At any time, if you’d like to be taken off the waiting list, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the registrars at (415) 450-8071.
What should I wear?
Wear modest, loose, comfortable clothing so you have free range of motion. You may practice barefoot if we are indoors, or in shoes with a flat, flexible sole. For your safety, please minimize jewelry because at times we practice with our classmates. Also, please avoid wearing scents and perfumes as some may have sensitivity. More details, see Classroom Etiquette.