Any yoga practice is made up of a sequence of postures. While the time each posture is held generally one moves toward longer holds, and finally to rest, usually in shavasana. While the same postures will not be in every practice, a practice usually will include a variety of postures, chosen to balance direction of movement and areas of stretch and so on. It is the flow and balance between the postures that matters, as much as the postures themselves.
There are hundreds of postures, though many of these are variations on what I would call base postures.
Prelude: On Training versus Calling One of the standard questions any adult asks a young child they first meet is, “What do you want to be when you group up?”. By the time that young person is a teenager the question has usually shifted to, “What do you want to do when you are out of school?” The question is whether this is a shift, or if the being and the doing should or must have some connection.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, look better, or feel better, when searching for a fitness regimen, we are offered a plethora of options.Today's popular fitness programs inlcude Cross Fit, Zumba, Piloxing, bootcamps, Pilates, Booty Barre, spinning, boxing, yoga, group personal training, high intensity interval training, functional fitness, core or strength training, and much more as the fitness industry continues to innovate.
If I say the way yoga is understood and practiced today is different in a number of ways from how it was understood and practiced traditionally it is helpful to understand what I mean by traditional. After all yoga has been around for thousands of years, and it was not one thing for most of that time, and then suddenly another thing twenty years ago. The tides of historical change have run throughout human history: it is just easier to see subtle changes to the waves that are closest to us. I am not going to give a scholarly text with dates and citations.
Tai Chi lessons teach the art of playing with chi energy.For centuries Tai Chi practitioners referred to their art as 'playing'. There are many interpretations as to what is meant by 'playing'. Martial artists often apply the word to the pleasure one enjoys when sparring with friends. Tai Chi energy masters might use the word to help explain the way chi energy is manipulated.
The #1 enemy of yoga is outside the studioMany studies show that exercise is medicine and one of the best exercises is walking. Tai Chi fitness practitioners take the idea a step further and claim that mindful walking is the best exercise.
Does your mainstream yoga have a missing element?Spend the next two weeks of this month ignoring your mainstream Yoga class. Instead, attend two Perfect Tai Chi Fitness™ classes and for two weeks practice what you learned every day at home, during work or even while playing. You'll never go back to your mainstream Yoga.
The other day a few students and colleagues were engaged in an online chat about a spin class the gist of which was that the class was difficult and awesome. The end result of the exchange was to make me want to go take the class.