Winner of the 1998 Mature Media Award and the prestigious 1998 Telly Award.
The Gentle Tai Chi routine was developed at the St. Luke’s Center for Health and Well-Being, St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in response to the frustration felt by beginning students who wanted to learn tai chi, but found many of the traditional forms or routines too difficult to master. This routine allows the participant to “feel” the relaxing quality of tai chi without having to concentrate on specific movements.
The routine consists of 12 tai chi movements that are found in all of traditional tai chi, yet are easy to learn. The movements are also excellent for large group programs for all ages. Gentle Tai Chi is a 42 minute tape that contains:
*Detailed instruction of 12 traditional Tai Chi movements
*Gentle Tai Chi routine
*Seated version of the Gentle Tai Chi routine
Enthusiastic instructor Dagmar Munn guides viewers through a series of fun, easy movements adapted from traditional tai chi. Although Munn’s routine could offer health benefits to anyone, it seems clear that her target audience is those who find strenuous exercise difficult, as she performs a few stretches and a short workout while seated. The warm-up section begins with a series of self-massages to improve flexibility and circulation, followed by Munn’s series of low-impact standing exercises. She runs through her whole routine first (it takes about six minutes) before breaking it into individual moves with detailed instructions. Throughout, a multitude of camera angles show exactly what’s going on. The simple movements are accentuated with Munn’s subtle tips on breathing and her lucid images for each movement, such as polishing a tabletop. It’s not orthodox tai chi by a long shot, but offers a thorough, simple workout for those who wish to keep moving without too much huffing and puffing. –Grant Balfour