(6 pages total)
Page 5 - Taiji in the Workplace
The Overweight or Less-Active Employee
I also suggest that persons who are overweight or less active by nature would find Taijiquan attractive and enjoyable to do. Companies do not get participation of overweight individuals, because the exercise programs available may be too strenuous or prove embarrassing to individuals to have to put on leotards or shorts to participate. Participants find that Taijiquan replenishes them and is easier to stay with than an exercise program that leaves you exhausted.
Easy and Inexpensive to Implement
You don't have to change your clothing to perform Taijiquan. Thus, it is more convenient for practitioners and efficient for the company, too. Less time is wasted for both. It is recommended that you wear clothing that is easy to move in and wear low flat shoes for class. The model is ease and simplicity from beginning to end. You don't need a huge amount of space to have Taijiquan classes. It can be done outdoors as well as indoors, which makes it an ideal program that can be enjoyed by all throughout the changing seasons.
10 to 15 Minutes a day to Health
What also should be emphasized is that once someone has learned the short or simplified form, they can perform the exercise in ten to fifteen minutes. This depends upon the slowness of the practitioner's movements from one transition to another. There are numerous other styles, including the long Yang style and the increasingly-popular Chen style. No matter what the stylethe principles are the same throughout. So here is a complete conditioning system that takes relatively little time to do. Taijiquan could not be better suited for a company and their employees as part of a wellness program.
Rehabilitation and the Older Employee
I have had students in my classes with such conditions as hip replacements, pacemakers, and individuals with hypertension, arthritis, lupus, and back problems. The students were advised by their health care practitioner to remain active, but to find an activity that wouldn't aggravate their condition. Taijiquan was a perfect solution. There are persons of all ages and levels who make a contribution to a company's success. Taijiquan is perfect for the youngest member of the office to the eldest. As a matter of fact, in a local hospital where I have taught Taijiquan as a preventive health practice for several years, there was a long-term student of mine over 80 years of age. Her sense of humor and active participation has been a joy and an inspiration to everyone in the class.
In the Summer of 1988 there was a first time ever United States All-Taijiquan competition held in Virginia. A lovely Chinese woman of 73 years of age won not one, but two medals of outstanding achievement in the categories in which she competed.
She was held at the same standard as her younger competitors. We were told she had demonstrated Taijiquan for the 1936 Olympic Games in Munich - here is a sport where you can compete and win into your seventies. With Taijiquan one improves with experience and age instead of the typical reversal that happens in most other activities. So fitting is the expression: You're not getting older, you're getting better.
Finding Time in the Workplace
Instruction can fit within an organization easily. A class in the morning before work, lunchtime, or after the workday is recommended. I have designed a "One Minute Taijiquan Mini-Break" which can instantly help a person feel better and more relaxed. The mini-break can be interspersed throughout the day for relaxing and re-energizing when needed without fuss.
I have incorporated Taijiquan principles into a warm-up phase and encourage my students to use Taijiquan principles throughout their everyday lives. This is the importance of Taijiquan. Living life as a moving meditation has tremendous power and significance. The common misconception is that Taijiquan is some esoteric dance could not be further from the truth. It is both beautiful and practical. Nothing lasts from one generation or dynasty to another without having some universal and timeless truths incorporated in it. Taijiquan embodies these truths within a system of health and self defense.
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