In my experience, the most devoted students fall into the 55+ category. I find that when people reach this phase of life, priorities shift and wisdom prevails. People realize just how important their health is and are able and open to investing the time to improve it. When it comes to longevity, tai chi is the ultimate art. The gentle movements favor experience to strength, and are designed to keep bodies minds and spirits young and healthy. The classes make people feel so good, they put them in their schedules and keep coming back in perpetuity. The benefits are truly wholistic. Mind, body, spirit, organs, skin, thoughts, ligaments, tendons, aches, pains, emotions, self exteem, energy levels, all improve through regular practice.
One student Elenor who is over 90 shared with me...
“Tai Chi keeps me alive, I look at all my friends and what they can and can’t do... I do it all. They don't know how I stay as active as I am. They say I’m like a fire cracker. I don't let my age hold me back from anything“
Another elderly gentleman shared...
“I have been a Rabbi for many years, and I see what we did today as empowered prayer. I was impressed by the way you presented your tai chi. It’s very personal. Your ability to capture those of us in the room is truly remarkable. “
Sophie from Manalapan shared
“This is the class I look forward to most in the week. I’ve been doing yoga for a long time, but this one gives me a mental fix, a peace I cant take with me. “
I have a gentleman with two fused vertebra who swears my warm ups keep his back in good shape, and last month had two different students tell me that what they learned in my class prevented them from nasty falls.
Each class I teach for the people in front of me. We are very careful about moving the joints, esp the knees in the right way. I am always watching to see where people are, and I get a handle on what THEIR goals are so I can give them the best and most useful experience possible. Some are happy with gentle stretching, some love the peace and meditation, some want self defense, fluid movement, the safety that comes from great balance, health, vigor or the feeling of flowing through a form. This flexibility, listening ability and playful creativity makes me a favorite whether working with active 55 year old tennis players or with a wheel chair bound elderly folk.
For a description of my classes click on the fitness centers tab above. I generally combine Tai Chi and Qi Gong into one art which can easily be modified into a chair based class. This demographic tends to really resonate with meditation and breathwork as well.