Tai Chi: the ancient art of going with the flow

Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:05am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - It happens every spring. Along with April showers and that red, red robin, Tai Chi devotees return to the public parks.

They reappear like lilacs - men and women, dressed in loose clothing and cotton shoes, gliding in silent unison through their ballet-like exercises.

"There's more energy in the air outside, especially early in the morning or evening," George Kormendi, the program director of the New York School of Tai Chi Chuan, said in an interview.

"So sometimes I'll bring my students outside to the park," said Kormendi, who has been teaching Tai Chi, indoors and outdoors, for 20 years.

Literally translated as "Supreme Ultimate Fist," Tai Chi Chuan is an ancient Chinese martial art based on the idea that in softness there is strength.

The short form of the popular Yang style of Tai Chi consists of 37 postures.

With names such as "Grasping Sparrow's Tail" and "Fair Lady Works with Shuttles," these "forms" are performed in a slow and continuous sequence. The entire exercise can be completed in seven to 10 minutes.

"The slow movement trains our awareness of energy and use of force," Kormendi explained.   Continued...

<p>A man leads participants to perform Taiji, a traditional form of Chinese martial arts, in Liu'an, Anhui province July 13, 2008. REUTERS/China Daily</p>