Tai Chi Fitness Workouts

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David-Dorian Ross, International Master Tai Chi Instructor
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4.8 out of 5
47 Reviews
97% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 4085
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What Will You Learn?

  • the importance of relaxing into tai chi movements
  • how to use weighted tai chi balls for strength and stability
  • that tai chi is not limited by age or physical fitness

Course Overview

Your instructor, international master David-Dorian Ross, describes tai chi as a path for life guided by nature that finds harmony and balance in every situation. Mr. Ross, who created the TaijiFit program, is a U.S. gold-medal winner and an international master tai chi instructor, his goal in this course is to introduce you to the practice of tai chi in the gentlest way possible—by encouraging you to simply move and breathe. While these lessons will bring fitness benefits, they are unlike any other workout you’ve ever tried. In this course, there are no goals, no repetitions to ramp up, no emphasis on your technique, and no instructor telling you to push yourself. There’s just the continuous, slow-paced movement, the calming breath, and the enjoyment of the practice.

While tai chi has been practiced in the East for centuries, its health benefits have only recently been studied seriously in the West. Medical studies have shown that tai chi can improve balance and function, increase strength, and reduce stress and pain. Recent research also suggests positive effects on bone health and in the prevention of falls, a significant benefit for older individuals. In 2017, the American College of Physicians began to formally recommend tai chi as a therapeutic option for patients with chronic low back pain.

Into the State of Flow

Tai chi offers a unique benefit to practitioners: a way to relax completely, to let go of any problems on your mind, to be fully present in your current activity, and to feel your best physically, all at the same time. This is the state of flow, also known as being “in the zone.” People can experience flow in a variety of settings. Painting, singing, swimming, hiking, running, writing, gardening—the list of activities that can bring an individual into the flow state is long and varied.

But tai chi is unique: It will take you into flow for its own sake. And while tai chi is a martial art that can be pursued for purposes of self-defense, the primary goal of Tai Chi Fitness Workouts is to introduce the student to flow.

How can this course bring you into the experience of flow? It’s simple—just follow the movements and breathe with Mr. Ross and your fellow students. There are no elaborate terms to learn and nothing to memorize; there is nothing external for the student to create, nothing to achieve or accomplish, except your own peace of mind and physical wellness.

And here’s a special secret about this course: Even if you really aren’t ready to try tai chi just yet, simply watching these lessons can bring you benefit. Hearing Mr. Ross’s calm and steady voice, watching him flow so very gently through the moves again and again, and listening to his encouragement will leave you feeling more peaceful at the end of the lessons than you were at the beginning.

Tai Chi for Any Age and Ability

In Tai Chi Fitness Workouts, you will not only follow the flowing movements of your instructor, but you’ll also meet and see the practices of three other students. Young and old, male and female, athlete and formerly infirm, these students allow you to watch the real practices of individuals whose lives have been changed by tai chi. You will meet:

  • Cassie S., a young woman and a former college pole vaulter. Cassie developed so many injuries that she spent a great deal of her college years on the sidelines. Then she found TaijiFit. “Tai chi brought me right into my body, improved my confidence, and improved my sport,” she says. “It made everything in my life easier.” In her senior year, Cassie greatly improved her personal best, qualified for nationals, and became a 2015 All-American.
  • Judy W., a 76-year-old woman who says she “was a mess” before finding the social and physical benefits of TaijiFit. “I’ve come to know a wonderful community of people, all getting online together to practice tai chi,” she says. Before beginning tai chi, Judy had been in such pain from numerous surgeries that she was unable to lie in bed to sleep. She now sleeps comfortably and has not needed pain injections in two years. “For anyone who thinks they’re too old or too broken, TaijiFit is for you,” she says.
  • Rick S., an older man who began studying the martial arts as a teenager, eventually earning his black belt but later suffering injuries and developing joint problems. No longer able to exercise as he was accustomed to, Rick gained weight and later suffered a heart attack. Going back to his martial-arts roots, he discovered—and immediately fell in love with—TaijiFit. “Tai chi has given me a sense of peace and calmness I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world,” he says.

What If I Can’t . . . ?

Mr. Ross understands that many individuals who might want to try tai chi have questions or concerns based on their preconceived ideas about the practice. Throughout each of the five lessons in this course, he proactively answers those questions with explanations that invite you to give tai chi a try:

  • I don't think I can memorize so many steps. In this course, there is nothing to learn and certainly nothing to memorize. All you have to do is follow along. Just keep breathing, moving, and enjoying yourself.
  • I’ve never been coordinated and I won’t be able to do it right. Don’t worry about copying the instructor’s exact movements. While improving your technical skills is important, it’s not the most important thing on the road to tai chi practice. Most important is to enjoy it. So just focus on how it feels and your own enjoyment.
  • I can’t bend my knees and squat down to the ground. It’s never about getting low; it’s only about letting go. Just melt on down and float back up. If you’ve stopped smiling, you know you’ve gone too far or tried too hard.
  • As Mr. Ross explains, there’s no need to worry about doing a movement correctly or incorrectly, turning right or left, forward or backward. Just keep breathing and moving. Your “goal” is simply to experience the tai chi for itself, the continuous and harmonious movement of the body, mind, and energy, without pause or interruption. Open your heart, open your breath, clear your mind. With your instructor’s calming voice, reassuring tone, and nurturing guidance, you will find your own state of flow.

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    5 lectures
     |  Average 60 minutes each
    • 1
      Tai Chi Ball Workout for Beginners
      This lesson introduces you to the use of weighted tai chi balls as tools to help with body alignment and strength. The lesson includes three 20-minute workouts—one with open hands, one using two palm-sized balls, and the final workout using one larger ball. Mr. Ross explains that the entire workout is about repeating the movements over and over again to get a sense of the rhythm and to fully feel each technique. With excellent instruction on how to hold, rotate, and pivot the balls as you move your entire body—as well as how to check for muscle tension—you’ll enjoy incorporating these tools into your practice and you’ll certainly feel the benefits. Movements and postures you will see include Grasping the Bird’s Tail, Needle at the Sea Bottom, and Princess on the Mountain Top, among other tai chi postures. x
    • 2
      Tai Chi Fit: Strength
      This 60-minute lesson continues the practice of flow, adding in the element of strength building. With three, 5-minute segments that include the use of weighted tai chi balls, you will feel the muscular benefit as you continue to follow your instructor and the other students. If you don't have weighted tai chi balls, you can use 2-pound dumbbells, soup cans, or water bottles. And as Mr. Ross explains, you should feel free to put the weights down at any time or not use them at all, because there's no rush and no place to go. You'll begin this lesson by opening your heart, and opening and emptying your mind. Just follow along and keep breathing. In this practice, you will see Wagging the Tail, Snake Creeps through the Grass, and Swimming Dragon, among other tai chi movements. x
    • 3
      Tai Chi Fit: Flow
      This 50-minute practice introduces you to flow, the continuity of physical movement with the connection of the mind and spirit. Everything is in continual motion together—body, mind, and spirit—and comes to rest together at the end of the practice. One of the great benefits of flow, which Mr. Ross discusses in this practice, is the movement of the body’s energy, the qi (pronounced chee). Qi is life itself, and good health is maintained when the qi is continuous and harmonious in its circulations through the body. In this practice, you will learn to experience the state of flow and open movement of qi by calmly following the movements and breathing of your instructor, letting all self-judgment gently fall from your mind. In this practice, you’ll see Sinking the Qi, Descending the Mountain, Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane, and Playing the Lute, among others. x
    • 4
      Tai Chi Fit: Over 50
      This 30-minute workout provides benefits for people of any age, but is especially helpful to those over age 50. According to Chinese medicine, qi circulation is crucial to lifelong health and longevity, but the qi starts cooling off and losing some of its fiery energy as we age. In this practice, Mr. Ross includes special exercises to increase qi circulation by moving the qi up and down the spine. In addition, he stresses the importance of allowing the breath to move the body. Inhale, and you'll naturally float up; exhale and you'll naturally sink down. In this session, you'll see Princess in the Valley, Repulsing the Monkey, Brush the Knee, Draw the Bow, and more. x
    • 5
      Tai Chi Fit: To Go
      Almost everyone has an issue with work-life balance. How can we best keep our life energy flowing when we just can't find the time we'd like for a workout? This lesson offers three different 20-minute workouts for those days when you're limited in time or space. As with the other lessons in this course, you're not asked to learn anything and there's nothing to get right or memorize. All you have to do is keep moving and breathing. Mr. Ross discusses the goal of staying in the moment, not focusing on the length of the practice or anticipating which movement might be coming up next. As you continue to practice both the physical movements and being in a tranquil state, you'll learn how to attain that state of quietude more quickly, no matter the length of your practice. Here, experience Old Monk Chops Wood, Flaring the Cape, Lazy Monk Lays His Head on the Pillow, and Single Whip, among other tai chi movements. x

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    Your professor

    David-Dorian Ross

    About Your Professor

    David-Dorian Ross, International Master Tai Chi Instructor
    David-Dorian Ross is the founder and CEO of TaijiFit and the creator of the TaijiFit mind-body exercise program. He has a B.A. in Human Movement Studies from San Francisco State University, has completed graduate course work in Physical Education and Chinese, and is currently developing a project with the head of the Harvard Medical School research department to study the stress-reduction benefits of tai chi (taiji) in...
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    Reviews

    Tai Chi Fitness Workouts is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 47.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tai Chi nice & easy! This course is a great course! Tai Chi nice & easy (easy being that form is not concentrated on a whole lot-whatever you can manage). The instructor has a soft spoken voice (not so soft that you can't hear) and teaches in a calming style! I love the video because I can go back if I need to review something I missed. Also love the over 50 portion. I am looking forward to completing and then starting over. Really fun and informative!
    Date published: 2019-07-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simple to follow I recently purchaseed this course & the exercises are easy to follow. You don't have to worry about doing the exercises perfectly & the exercises help with balance.
    Date published: 2019-07-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A bargain combining multiple courses If purchased individually, the cost for the multiple courses greatly exceeds the complication.
    Date published: 2019-07-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I am enjoying this course, great presentation. I am so glad I purchased this course, it is great to be able to follow it in the privacy of my home
    Date published: 2019-05-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from World Class Instructor bar none This is the second course I have purchased with instructor David Dorian Ross and i have no regrets after years of purchasing tapes, books still collecting dust I can finally see, hear and understand how to enjoy Tai Chi.
    Date published: 2019-05-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great fitness workouts! the teacher is fabulous. Not too many words - perfect to follow with outstanding, artistic, beautiful movement through the postures. Challenged and empowered at the same time to do the movements. This course exceeded our expectations, which were crazy high as we LOVE The Great Courses and own dozens of them. the lessons are peaceful and relaxing and we can follow the first time through them and yet will be able to repeat them many many times without getting tired of them. Excellent quality in every way. So happy we bought this course.
    Date published: 2019-05-09
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easily followed and Understood I purchased this course about six weeks ago and watched it from beginning to end. Now, I need to watch and do. The instructor is easy to follow and to understand. He explains what he is doing and why and demonstrates how the current task is related to other movements done previously.
    Date published: 2019-04-17
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun Workouts for ALL Ages and Levels of Fitness! Safe, effective and uplifting workouts - And FUN - and I'm 65! I'm getting so much out of them that I bought it for a friend! I found them so inspiring and age-reversing that I'm now working on the Tai Chi Short Program by David-Dorian Ross, and aim to eventually learn the long program, also by David-Dorian Ross. I love the spiritual side of them all too!
    Date published: 2019-04-04
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