Exploring Tai Chi Instruction

Monday, June 29 2020

Interested in teaching Tai Chi or practicing it?  AEA Training Specialist, Lori Templeman, shares a sample workout set to the scenery and sounds of Siletz Bay in Oregon.  Ideal for the times, this soothing program is based on Sun Style Tai Chi and is specifically designed to help with arthritis pain relief.

Originally scheduled to return to Florida in May 2020 and film new aquatic fitness videos, Lori’s plans got scrapped due to the global pandemic.  As Fitmotivation pivoted towards in-home fitness in March to acknowledge the worldwide closure of pools, we made plans with Lori to have her remotely film some of her land workouts.  A Taste of Tai Chi was her first remote project.  We think she did pretty good!  


TAI CHI INSPIRED – by Lori Templeman

When COVID-19 hit, my plans to come to Florida and film aquatic content were shelved and I was seeking other ways to make a contribution.  This gave me an opportunity to develop some land-based formats to accommodate fitness enthusiasts who are dry-docked from their local pools or would like to cross-train. 

A Taste of Tai Chi was filmed in Lincoln City, Oregon, overlooking the Siletz Bay.  We wanted to catch the early morning light and avoid the crowds, but as you can hear, the sea lions and doves were already up and active.

Certified in Dr. Lam’s “Tai Chi for Arthritis” in 2009, I have since added a few more Tai Chi programs to my repertoire. Teaching Tai Chi has been very satisfying.  Watching my students progress and support each other is very rewarding.  

Tai chi can be practiced in a group setting or solo, and no equipment is required.  This video features Sun Style Tai Chi and the first “Basic 6” movements of a 24 form set.  This short sequence is intended to give you a sampling of Tai Chi movements.  Most people have heard of Tai Chi and many people have seen an individual or group practicing in the park or on a beach at some point.  However, the question “What is Tai Chi?” is still often asked.  Tai Chi is considered a martial art and has external and internal components.  Externally, it is a choreographed sequence of slow, fluid movements.  It takes dedication, repetition and practice, like learning dance steps.  Once the movements become familiar, the practice becomes more internal by exploring the in-depth principles. 

Tai Chi allows us to circulate energy within our body and has many benefits.  It allows us to increase body awareness, combine breath with movement, improve balance, and reduce stress.  This program is specifically designed to help with Arthritis pain relief.  The movements are upright (which helps us focus on vertical alignment) and doesn’t require a large amount of flexion in the knees.  In fact, this program can also be done seated in a chair with very slight adaptations.  Tai Chi can be very inclusive to a wide range of populations and feels so good. This is what initially attracted me to the practice.

If you would like to learn the full 24 form sequence and progress your Tai Chi practice, the full program,“Tai Chi for Arthritis - 12 Lessons with Dr Paul Lam” is available on DVD or digital download from Tai Chi Productions. Many instructors around the world are certified to teach this and other programs at local facilities.


I hope you enjoy this sample Tai Chi practice.  Lori is working on a chair exercise program that utilizes a small ball. Check out Lori's other Fitmotivation videos.  And stay tuned, next month I will post my second chair fitness workout, Chair Dance’letics. 

Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.