We currently offer nine-week introductory class sessions on Monday or Tuesday evenings, and continuing classes on Thursday evenings and Saturdays. If you are interested in an introductory class session, please submit a registration form to indicate interest and place your name on a waiting list. We follow the U of I calendar and usually offer beginning sessions in August at the start of the school year, in January after winter break, and over the summer, but we are happy to start a new class whenever interest is sufficient.
Due to COVID-19 our introductory classes are cancelled indefinitely. Please submit a registration form to indicate your interest in an introductory session and we will let you know when classes resume.
Please note: we do not allow visitors to observe class as it can be disruptive to beginning students.
Beginning Class Sessions
Location & Time
Introductory classes are held on Monday or Tuesday evenings, from 6:00-7:30, at the Channing Murray Foundation, 1209 W Oregon St, Urbana, IL 61801. Please submit the registration form if you are interested in the summer session.
The fee for a nine-week session is $144, and is due via check at the first class. Google Pay and PayPal payments are also accepted. Student discounts are available, and up to 50% tuition assistance is available on a limited basis to those in need and willing to exchange in-kind services. For those over 65, a significant portion of the tuition is reimbursable through Health Alliance’s wellness program. Check with your insurance company for possible reimbursement if you do not have Health Alliance.
The beginning class is a session fee and there are no refunds or make-up classes for the session. Class videos are available on-line for home practice and to use if you miss a class. After completing the beginning class, if you wish to continue with our intermediate group you may purchase a pre-paid card (the more classes purchased, the less the per class fee) which is checked only when you attend.
Curriculum – What you will learn
In the beginning class session, you will learn the fundamentals of taiji (tai chi) and qigong practice.
Qigong is a “big picture” concept – any mind/body/spirit integrative exercise is qigong. Taiji is one kind of qigong exercise, but traditionally taiji was much more than simply choreographed slow movement – other traditional qigong exercises are fundamental compents of taiji training and are essential for efficient practice, and to understand realize the full benefits of practice.
Meditation is the foundation of all qigong, and we teach meditation in sitting, standing, and lying-down positions – all are similar but also yield different benefits. Learning the fundamental instruction in meditations is essential to continuing with the curriculum. If you are new to meditation you will learn how – if you are a long-time practitioner yourself you may gain new insight into your own practice.
Other exercises taught in the beginning class include dynamic stretching/flexibility, coordination, and strength and moderate cardiovascular exercise. Importantly, the exercises are safe and the intensity is easily modified to suit persons of all ages and physical abilities. Wh have students in their 80s, and also elite athletes who have found the exercise to be challenging.
Lastly, we will introduce an introductory taiji form. Our goal is to provide you with complete, traditional curriculum that encompasses the entire mind/body/spirit continuum, and that you can take home and practice yourself. If you would like to continue with the group, we would love to have you join the Wednesday evening class after completing the beginning class session.
Continuing classes are held on Thursday evenings from 6:00-7:30 at the Channing Murray Foundation. We start the class as a group with gigong and meditation, then split into different groups of various skill levels to work on forms and other exercises. We end each class again as a group with sitting or lying-down meditation.
Note: During the COVID pandemic we are meeting outside at Hessel park on Thursday evenings.
Contact us if you are interested in non-form centric workshops on fundamental principles, qigong, meditation, and/or push-hands – foundational practices for any style of taiji.