Taiji as Spiritual Practice


Beginning in April, the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos will offer a series of eight Saturday morning Taiji (T’ai Chi) classes to study the Yang Style 24 Forms. Classes will begin on Saturday, April 7th  from 11 AM to noon in Robinson Hall.

No previous experience is necessary. Classes will explore proper body alignment with coordination and flexibility exercises, and breathing techniques to cultivate the flow of Qi, or life energy. The primary focus of the class is to study the 24 Forms of the Taiji routine which can become a daily discipline of spiritual practice. Students will also study the Taiji Qigong 18 Forms as warm-up exercises. At the conclusion of these classes, students will have an opportunity to participate in thrice-weekly outdoor practices at Ashley Pond through the summer and early fall, as weather permits.

Taiji is an ancient system of exercises from China, designed for health and fitness. The 24 Forms was created by a team of physical education experts in 1956 to make Taiji accessible for public physical fitness initiatives in China on a massive scale.

In the book “Everyday Spiritual Practice”, Robert Hughes discusses how Taiji helps him develop and strengthen the “Observer Self” which requires awareness of what is happening in one’s body. The ability to observe oneself is the single most important skill in walking the spiritual path.

Instructor KokHeong McNaughton began teaching the Wu-Style Long Form at UC Davis in 1973. She moved to Los Alamos in 1975 and taught at the YMCA. Since then, she has also taught Therapeutic Qigong 36 Forms, the Taiji Qigong 18 Forms, and the Yang Style 24 Forms privately as well as through the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos.

These classes are free and open to the public and are also suitable for children ages 8 and up. A voluntary donation towards the church’s community garden is gratefully accepted.

For more information and to register, call the instructor at 920-6808 or email her at kokheong@comcast.net.


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