Shoveling snow, chipping ice. These are the forms of winter exercise many of us face almost every week in Minnesota. How can you apply tai chi to them? By remembering to use good alignment and relaxation. Don't use force. Use the whole body, not just the arms, to do the work. Gradually, gradually, is also a good motto. Don't try to "plow" through it all in record time, but rather work at a comfortable pace.
Great River T'ai Chi Ch'uan in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was founded in 1979, and is one of the oldest t'ai chi ch'uan (taijiquan) groups in the Upper Midwest of the United States. Great River is led by Barbara Davis and Cheryl Powers, both of whom have trained in Taiwan and the United States with senior students of the late Professor Cheng Man-ch'ing, including Maggie Newman, Ed Young, and since 1986, Mr. Liu Hsi-heng of Taipei, and workshops with Ben Lo. They have also worked with numerous other students of Professor Cheng's including Jane Faigao, Bataan Faigao, Wolfe Lowenthal, Ken Van Sickle, Lorie Reinstein, and Tao Ping-siang. Great River has regularly sponsored workshops with many of these senior teachers, and in recent years with Weiming Yuan (Taiwan) and Nathan Menaged, among others.
Barbara, Cheryl, and Great River senior students have taught at numerous locales, including the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, Mankato State University, Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (now part of Northwestern Health Sciences University), Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Tasks Unlimited, Honeywell, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Schools, YWCA (Minneapolis, Duluth, and Mankato), First Unitarian Society, Minnesota Jung Association, Concordia University-St. Paul, Minnesota Psychological Association, and the Minnesota Nurses Association.
For information on classes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities MN area, or to schedule a workshop, call 612--822-5760.
Great River T'ai Chi Ch'uan's Studio: We meet at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 4557 Colfax Avenue South, in Minneapolis, just east of Lake Harriet. Ample street parking available. By bus and LRT: #46 (46th Street crosstown service; connects to LRT), #4 Bryant/Lyndale. For schedules and information click on this button: By bike: Bryant Avenue and 46th Street both have bike lanes, as does nearby Lake Harriet.