Ài Tai Chi, a home to enjoy Tai Chi Ch’uan, Qi Gong, and more.
Classes, information, shared experiences
Ài Tai Chi
Ài Tai Chi is a resource for information on Tai Chi Ch’uan and Qigong classes taught by me (Amy Alderman [she/her]).
Tai Chi Ch’uan 太极拳 (pronounced Tie Jee Chwen), the ancient Chinese practice of meditation in motion, has many connotations. A common Western translation of Tai Chi Ch’uan is “Supreme Ultimate Fist,” largely because Tai Chi is also known as shadowboxing or a slow version of the hard and fast martial arts. (However, Tai Chi can be practiced hard and fast, too).
The characters of these words also encompass the ideas of striving to become the best version of yourself, growing and adapting as life changes and rolling up one’s sleeves to do good work for yourself – and in turn – for those around you.
爱 What is Ài? It is a many splendid thing. Simply put, the character for Ài translates to love. Again, there are many definitions beneath the surface of this character, including welcoming a neighbor into your home; providing shelter during a storm; weathering life by making sacrifices; and a general love for yourself, fellow people and nature.
When it comes to Tai Chi, Ài 爱 is what teaching Tai Chi and Qi Gong means to me.
About Amy Alderman
I am a practitioner of the Tai Chi Fundamentals® Adapted Program (TCFA), a curriculum designed by Tai Chi Master Tricia Yu and physical therapists. The program is largely intended for people of all ages with diverse abilities. I am honored to say I was certified in TCFA by Master Instructor Pat Culotti.
TCFA includes the framework for practicing Tai Chi while adapting to the needs of people who need support to stand, sit or have other mobility issues. All the while, TCFA embodies the spirit of Tai Chi as meditation in motion, providing a calming and uplifting environment.
TCFA can be applied to:
Wellness, balance, stress and pain management, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, polytrauma, autoimmune diseases, women’s health, and orthopedic, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory rehabilitation.
I welcome all to my sessions. Tai Chi classes are a meditative community experience, and diversity and inclusiveness only add to our lives. You might be surprised at the transformations of strength, balance and peace you will experience!
As part of my journey in Tai Chi and Qi Gong, it is my wish to be a perpetual student. As part of that, I am also a student of Peter Wayne, PhD, the author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi and founder of the Tree of Life Tai Chi Center. I also attend weekly classes with Stanwood Chang through Tree of Life. Stanwood is the founder and director of the Sun Tai Chi Institute of Boston. And I am currently an enrollee of the Tree of Life Tai Chi Center’s intensive two-year teacher training program.
I am also grateful to Grandmaster Jerry Trowbridge and Master Nancy Trowbridge for welcoming me to their classes at the Center of I Am in Dubuque, Iowa, where I took some of my first Tai Chi steps in the Sun Style 24 form.
In 2020, I completed Paul Cavel’s Five Keys to Taoist Energy Arts program, a 10-week course for building a foundation for Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Bagua forms.
I feel privileged to learn from each of these masters. Every class is steeped in healing meditative practices, fountains of knowledge of evidence-based research and decades of studies.
Every session is a humbling experience, and I feel the best way I can give back is by giving to others.
Many of my steps in my journey are due to the advice of Lori Enloe, a national expert on the clinical benefits of Tai Chi.
(Check out this excellent interview with Lori on NPR about How Tai Chi Helps Veterans in Iowa with PTSD and diverse abilities).
Lori kindly took a call from a total stranger to talk all things Tai Chi as I began to think about becoming a teacher.
In addition to Tai Chi, I have practiced yoga and meditation for roughly 27 years.
Native to Chicago and the burbs, I now live in Galena, llinois, an historic small city in the Driftless Region, where rolling hills and the mighty Mississippi River carve a spectacular landscape.
Lastly–somewhat related–I have over 20 years of experience in photography, journalism and communications. I am the owner of Alderman Communications LLC, and you may see a few words about my journey as Tai Chi Mama on this website’s blog. I share more adventures on Passages of Gratitude.
I hope you enjoy visiting Ài Tai Chi, and most of all I wish you wellness and peace.