Yoga/Zumba/Tai Ji

Yoga/Zumba/Tai Ji

Yoga means "union" of body, mind and spirit. The most common type of yoga is Hatha yoga, which represents, the sun- "ha" and the moon-"tha". Joining two opposites to create a whole is the essence of "Eastern" philosophy- balancing the energies of both. This is also represented by the integration of "yin" and "yang". . It is similar to the right and left side of the brain; when they work together one is whole. These ideas of balance can be related to the body, mind and spirit. The most important thing is to create balance, and cultivate energy so that a person is open to all possibilities. These ideas are similar in Tai Ji.

The practices of yoga are thousands of years old; although the poses or "asanas" that we commonly associate with yoga are much more recent. The" asanas" were originally developed to condition the body and allow one to sit for hours in meditation. These practices were used by monks or holy men who hoped to reach enlightenment.. At some point they began to be taught to the common man and their health benefits became recognized. If you are interested in the history of yoga, there are many books readily available covering this subject.

In our western society today yoga is primarily known as an avenue for the development of fitness, strength, flexibility, stress management, focus and body awareness. However, their are many Westerners who live by the spiritual practices of yoga.

In my teaching, yoga is primarily a method to teach mindfulness of body and breath and attention to form in the "asanas" to gain physical benefit without harm to the body. It takes practice to listen to what our bodies are telling us and this is a good way to develop that skill.

I am NOT currently teaching yoga at Eagle Canyon Fitness in Spanish Springs.

I begin a new class for seniors at Bonaventure in Sparks on June 10th at 9:30 on Fridays.

Please check back for updates.

I am designing a Healthy Back yoga class. In a nut shell, it will focus on poses to strengthen the deep back muscles and deep and superficial abdominal muscles, which make-up "the core", some restorative poses for relaxation of the back and creating space between the vertebrae and stretching poses for the quads, I.T. band, hamstrings, and psoas. Who''s interested?

What is Zumba Gold?

Maybe you have taken a Zumba class or heard of Zumba. In this case you know that it is a very high intensity, wild and crazy latin dance fitness class. It burns tons of calories and is a lot of fun, if you can keep up.

The American Council on Exercise did a scientific study on the cardiovascular benefits and the caloric expenditure during a regular Zumba class. They concluded that, "it''s a total-body exercise- a good, high-energy, aerobic workout that is also good for core strengthening and flexibility gains." The average energy expenditure was higher than step aerobics, power yoga and cardio kickboxing.

Zumba Gold is it''s low impact and lower intensity cousin; designed for those who are new to exercise, haven''t worked out in awhile, have joint issues, want to learn Zumba steps at a slower pace or just don''t need a high intensity class. As I said, the class is lower in intensity, so it will not burn as many calories as the regular class; however, I have tested my heart rate at various times during a class and it is within the training range for cardiovascular fitness. The intensity can be regulated depending on how big your steps are and how much you move your arms. The music is mostly latin and many of the movements are based on latin dance steps, such as salsa, flamenco, cha cha, cumbia and others. They are relatively easy to follow. The steps follow the music in a way that is more creative than aerobic dancing. Practicing increases coordination and stimulates the mind as well as the body. It''s important to keep challenging ourselves to learn new patterns. The best part is that it is so much fun, you don''t think of it as exercise.

I teach Zumba Gold at ACHIEVE Fitness; 600 So. Center St. in Reno on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 -11:00. It''s close to the downtown library or Discovery Museum.
Cost is $10 per class or 8 classes for $64 to be used within two months.

AND at Cascades; corner of Eagle Canyon Dr. and Neighborhood Dr. in Spanish Springs on Wednesdays from 3:00 - 4:00. Please contact me if you want to attend and I will arrange it.

The first drawing is "Tai" which means a totally centered person. Can you see arms and legs punctuated by a center stroke? This is the grounding stroke- the energy center- the "dan tien", which is the same as "hara". This is where the life force "Chi" or "prana" originates and is stored in the body. Chungliang, my teacher says "Tai" shows a person with wide-open arms and legs concentrating on the potential life force within.

The second figure is "Ji" which people often say is "Chi", but is not the same. "Ji" is the learning process of growth. It is the willingness to be stretched and challenged.

Tai Ji can be translated as human growth; growth which happens when one is centered and grounded and learns to cultivate their "Chi".

This is "Chi"- see how different it is from "Ji"? It is also spelled "Qi" (there are two systems of spelling in China).

This is the same "Chi" or "Qi" in Qi Gong. Gong is "the bow" and can mean "to stretch or expand", so Qi Gong is stretching or expanding one''s chi.

My teacher Chungliang leading a group. Find out more about Chungliang al Huang and Living Tao at

More about Tai Ji to come........

Currently, there are no public classes in Tai Ji. If you would like to schedule private classes, please contact me.

If you have interest in bringing any of these classes into your "space" or have a few friends interested in having a class at a specific time, please email me and I''ll try to accommodate you.