The Method - T'ai Chi, Beginner's Level [VHS]

9786305107811: The Method - T'ai Chi, Beginner's Level [VHS]

Claire Hooton's introduction to t'ai chi is easy to follow, well-thought through, and professionally produced--the perfect asset for any beginning student interested in using t'ai chi to improve his or her physical and spiritual well-being. While silver-haired Hooton is obviously a terrific example for older women viewers, the lessons she offers are accessible and valuable for everyone. She begins with a short interview-style lecture on the benefits of t'ai chi, an exercise that builds health, increases longevity, and "wakes up our sense of being a part of nature." Soon, viewers are taught the basic principles of posture, breathing, weight distribution, and the dynamic relaxation that gives the form its power. Finally, viewers are led through the first third of the Yang-style short form (the final 40 moves are on the next tape, The Method: T'ai Chi, Intermediate Level). Each movement in the form is a worthwhile exercise in its own right, and Hooton describes them simply and methodically. Sometimes her metaphors for the positions ("the bird's head throws the teabag out the window") seem a bit silly, but they're no less evocative than some of the traditional Chinese names ("Single Whip," "Repulse Monkeys"), and actually work well to make the moves easy to understand and remember. And, even more importantly, each movement is shown from the front first, and then repeated by two demonstrators from behind, making it very easy to follow along correctly. The detailed descriptions are a boon to beginners, and high-production values are a definite plus (especially the colored panels projected on the floor to clarify foot movements). But most helpful are Hooton's tips on visualizing the body to effortlessly tap the power of t'ai chi's gentle, dance-like movements. This video is definitely recommended for anyone interested in learning t'ai chi basics. --Grant Balfour

From the Back Cover:

T'AI CHI Beginner's Level. T'ai Chi is an easy to implement, yet extremely beneficial exercise program consisting of 60 short, simple movements known as the Yang Style Short Form. This volume provides an informative, easy-to-understand introduction to the art and practice of T'ai Chi. It gets you started with the first 20 movements, the fundamental segment of the Short Form. Claire Hooton, your host and teacher, is a disciple of the late Grandmaster Cheng Man-Ch'ing and has been teaching T'ai Chi for over thirty years. This video incorporates Parade Video's "Reverse View" method. "Reverse View" places you right behind teacher Claire Hooton, not just in front of her.

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