T’ai Chi for Healthy Aging and Better Balance (TCHABB)

The T’ai Chi for Healthy Aging and Better Balance course (much easier to just refer to it as “TCHABB”) is a program based in the ideas and philosophies of T’ai Chi that is built to help maintain or improve balance in older adults.

Following is some information on the classes and answers to some questions that I have gotten.

When are the Classes?

This course starts on September 30th and will run for 24 classes ending on December 30th. Classes will take place twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:00 in the afternoon (Eastern Time).* It will take place over Zoom, so you will be able to participate from the comfort of your own home. (It is actually very well geared towards Zoom classes.)

The classes will last an hour and there will be lots of breaks in the class and lots of discussion where we will all share our experience of what we have just practiced. And, of course students can always take a rest when they need to.

* No classes on 11/11 (Veterans Day), 11/27 (Day after Thanksgiving) or 12/25 (Christmas)

What is the Cost?

The best part of this is that the course is FREE! (There is a sponsoring organization that is paying for the course this time around.)

Who Can Take This Class?

This session of the program is targeted to people over 60 who are new to T’ai Chi. If you are younger or have T’ai Chi experience, you can still register, however preference will be given to those who fall in these categories. (More detailed information on this below.)

So What Is This Course and Why Is It Different?

This is a brand new T’ai Chi Balance program that has been put together by a friend of mine in the T’ai Chi world. The training for this program is vastly more robust than any of the other T’ai Chi Balance programs I have been involved in. This program takes aspects and elements of T’ai Chi that specifically benefit balance and focuses on practicing, refining and deeply exploring just how it impacts our balance.

This is not a T’ai Chi moves based program – meaning you will not be focused on learning and practicing specific T’ai Chi moves. It goes much more directly to the heart of how T’ai Chi impacts balance. Instead we will focus on practices within T’ai Chi and work on internalizing those practices as a means to aid our balance.

My balance was already pretty good, but I have noticed improvements as I have been going through the training for this program. 

Commitment to the Program

It is important to note that this program requires a certain level of commitment. If you want to take this class, you must be able to attend most of the classes and must be willing to practice in between classes. (We’re not talking about long hours of practice, but rather 5 minutes per day most days during the week.)

Zoom Set-Up Required

One other important note. It will be required that you have your video on for the classes. It will be necessary for me to be able to see what you are doing so that we can make corrections and adjustments. It is also important to be able to show yourself head to feet on the video for the same reason.

However, this will not take much space. We don’t need to clear out a big space for this.

What Clothing Should I Wear?

You will generally want to wear comfortable, somewhat loose clothing that allows you to move without restriction.

Most people prefer to wear sneakers or something similar that is comfortable. Ideally the flatter the sole of the shoe the better, but you will eventually discover what is most comfortable for you. You can opt to do the practice barefooted if you prefer, but you may want to have some comfortable sneakers handy in case barefooted does not work for you.

Why Is The Class Limited To Beginners and Those Over 60?

This is a brand new program that is seeking to get “Evidence Based” status. “Evidence Based” means that the program has data driven evidence that the program is effective at accomplishing its goals – in this case, to improve balance for its participants.

Information will be collected from participants about how their balance is before taking the class and how that compares to their experience after the course is complete. For the information to be accurate, it needs to be compared to similar populations as other balance programs.

Therefore, those over 60 who are new to T’ai Chi will be given preference.