Tai Chi for Beginners Video | Dr Paul Lam | Free Lesson and Introduction

(gentle acoustic music) – [Narrator] Tai Chi for
Beginners is designed to improve health, fitness, and relaxation. Dr Paul Lam, a family physician and Tai Chi expert, is a
world leader in the field of Tai Chi for health improvement. Dr Lam and his medical
and Tai Chi colleagues have created a series of Tai
Chi for health programs, shown by medical studies to improve health and quality of life. His Tai Chi programs have impacted over two million people worldwide. How to use this program. – [Dr Paul Lam] Hello and welcome!
Thanks for joining us. To get the best out of this program, please view the Introduction
before starting the lessons. You’ll find out why I have
created this program, what is Tai Chi, what
is in this program, and the benefits you can
gain from learning it. When you’re ready to start the lessons, please set aside a regular
time every day to do my class. One hour, half an hour, or
even 20 minutes will work well. Do consider to ask some friends to join you. I will be teaching you as though you were having lessons with me. Do follow my instruction
carefully, and practice regularly. I recommend you practice
for one or two weeks after each lesson. When it becomes so
familiar with the movements that you can run through them by memory, then you’re ready to move
on to the next lesson. Remember, it’s better to
learn fewer movements well than rushing through too many. In the world of Tai Chi, more and quicker is not necessarily better. If one lesson is too much for you, and you can’t remember
one lesson in one sitting, you can stop the DVD any time, practice what you have learned until you’re familiar with that, then, only then, you can move on to the
next part of the lesson. During the practice time, you
can go through the lessons again, or you can just
follow me at that session, run through that particular lesson. Remember, if you’re able
to practice by memory, you can take your Tai Chi anywhere. Like me, when I do my Tai Chi anywhere, in an aeroplane, or as
I’m waiting for somebody. If you can remember the forms, then you can also internalise it. That is the best way
to improve your Tai Chi and to gain greater enjoyment
and more health benefits. Finally, do persevere with your practice, and I’m sure you will
enjoy your Tai Chi journey. I look forward to meet
with you in person one day. You are welcome to email
me through my website. – [Narrator] At the end
of the DVD, Doctor Lam will demonstrate the
entire set from the front, and then the back-on views. You can use the back-on
view to follow him, and practice with him once you
have learned the program. Be sure to view Stay Safe
before you start practising Doctor Lam’s lessons. (soft acoustic music) The Tai Chi for Beginners
program is based on six easy steps. As you go through the lessons,
you will learn these steps. They will be presented in a
mixed order within the lessons. For example, Lesson
one contains Qigong one and movement one, and lesson two contains Qigong two and movement two. All movements will be put together into a flowing set from lesson six. You can view a summary of
the steps from the menu. Introduction. (gentle acoustic music) – [Dr Paul Lam] I have been working
with my Tai Chi colleagues for many years to design a
complete beginner’s package. We constructed the six easy
steps to be ideal for beginners. It is easy to learn, it
will build a solid foundation, and improve health and wellness. If you’re looking for something simple, something you can continue
to practice for a lifetime, then this is the package for you. And if you want to explore
further for something more challenging, then this
could be the right package too because Tai Chi for
Beginners fit seamlessly into to most popular Tai
Chi set, the 24 Forms. (gentle acoustic music) – [Narrator] Tai Chi
originated from ancient China. Nowadays, most people practice Tai Chi for health and relaxation. Created based on law of nature, Tai Chi strengthens the mind and body. Integration of the mind
and body can be achieved through the ongoing practice of Tai Chi. It is suitable for almost anyone, and can be practiced anywhere. The flowing movements
contain much inner strength, like water flowing in a river. Beneath the tranquil
surface there is a current with immense power, the power
for healing and wellness. – There are many styles of Tai Chi. Yang style is the most popular,
and is characterised by slow, gentle, and expansive movements. The 24 Forms based on Yang
style is the most popular Tai Chi sets practiced in the world today. This is why we have created
Tai Chi for Beginners based on the 24 forms. The oldest style is Chen,
which is characterised by fastness intermixed with slowness, softness complement the hardness. – [Narrator] Sun style was
created by Mister Sun Lu Tang in the early part of the 20th century. It contains a unique and powerful Qigong. All styles of Tai Chi share
the same essential principles. Understanding and incorporating
the Tai Chi principles is what makes Tai Chi so
unique and powerful for health. – Tai Chi is for yourself. I do Tai Chi to make me feel good, and that is actually the
most important purpose of Tai Chi, it make you feel good, and it make you feel healthier. – [Narrator] In recent years,
numerous medical studies have shown Tai Chi improves
almost all aspects of health. Tai Chi improves physical
health, especially muscular strength,
flexibility, and fitness. It relaxes the mind and
improves mental balance to help manage stress. Tai Chi brings harmony and tranquillity, providing us with inner
peace and enabling us to listen and understand others better, thus improving relationship. – Tai Chi is also a very
nice social exercise because it’s different,
so it’s refreshing. And because it’s
non-competitive, you can do that with your friends, your
family, your work colleagues, and it’s wonderful to build
bondings between friends, and it’s fantastic to build team spirit between your work mates. – [Narrator] Learning Tai
Chi empowers us to improve health and quality of life. It can be an enjoyable
exercise for a lifetime. Lesson with Doctor Lam, lesson one. – Welcome to lesson one,
we’re going to start every lesson with this greeting, which is a universal
greeting in the Tai Chi world and it’s a way to show our mutual respect. The right hand in a fist means strength. The left hand with the fingers
close means friendship, and the thumb banked means humility. And hands together, feet together, it’s a greeting for mutual respect. In this lesson, we’re going
to do the first Qigong exercise and the first
foundational movement. – [Narrator] Let us start
with warm up exercises. – The warm up exercises
are designed to prepare you for Tai Chi so your body gets warmed up, your joints get gently stretched. This is called one, two, three warm up and cool down exercises. Number one is walking around, loosening up your joints,
and warm up your whole body. Number two is two stretches in each part of your body. Starting from the neck,
two neck stretches. Then the shoulder, then the spine, hips, knees, and ankles. Three is three cooling down exercises. We’ll do that at the end of the lesson. – [Narrator] Warm up exercises. – Walk around, smile to everybody, exercise your cheek muscles. Standing upright, but not tense, and standing about shoulder width apart. Now, let’s start, hands up
slowly, breathing slowly. Turn your palm. As your palm gently push towards you and I would like you to gently
push your chin back. Then, push your hands
forward, and slowly, slowly bend your neck. Hands up again, breathing. Do everything slowly, smoothly. Push back, chin back, push forward and down, neck bend gently. For the third time, hands up, breathing, gently push your chin back, forward, down. The second neck exercise is same. We’re going to bring our hands up first, and then let your left
hand turn, face you, and gently push the right
hand next to the hip. And now, we’re going to turn
your neck with your hand, but the first time turn to
70% of your normal range. Come back. Change hands, and turn to 70% of your normal range. Come back. Each time, we’re going to
turn just a little bit more. Come back. And turn. So, for the third time, each repetition we’re going to just
turn a tiny little more. Come back. And to the right side. The next exercise are the shoulders. We’re going to roll our
shoulders forward gently once, twice, three times. And then we’re going to
roll them back gently, once, twice, three times. And the second shoulder
exercise, open up your hands, breathing, breathing
up, and then breathe out and gently press down, bending
your knees just a little. Up, breathe in. Down, breathe out. That’s great, let’s do that again. Breathe in gently, breathe out, press down gently. Now, we go down to the spine. The spine stretching
exercise start out with both hands in front as
though we’re carrying a large beach ball. And we’re going to take the bottom hand, more it up, as though the
ceiling is falling down and we’re going to hold
it up with one hand, and push down the other hand. Now, we bring our hands
back and change hands. Hold up the ceiling and pushing
down with the other hand. When you bring it back, you
can bend your knees a little and when you push you can stand up. And one more time, carry the ball. As you stretch, visualise
your spine stretching gently. One more time each side. As you stretch, visualise
your spine gently stretch. And back to carrying a ball and stretch. The next spine exercise, still going to start carrying the ball, and make sure you bend
your knees just a little, and we’re going to take the
ball and turn it to one side. Only just a little turn. And then we’re going to change our hands. And when we turn, turn with your torso, so your torso’s, change your hands, your torso turn and
your hands move with it. Change your hands. So we’re not gonna turn in too far, just here. Change your hands, and turn to the left. And one last turn to the right. Next, is the hip. The first hip exercise we’re
going to bring our hands forward slowly and then
as your hands go down you bend your knees a little bit. And then you take a small step forward and push your hands back to balance. Then you can have a rest in the middle, and step back. Have a rest in the middle, step forward. Or, you can just move through if you’re comfortable to do that. Forward, backwards. Let’s do the same the other side. Forward, backward. Forward, backwards. Then the next hip exercise, we’re still going to start,
slightly bend your knee. Imagine there’s a wall on one side and you’re going to push on the wall, and your left hand is just
below the right elbow, and gently stretch the left foot. Then we’re going to change sides and stretch the right foot. Let’s do that again. Push the wall, stretch. Push the wall, and stretch. One more time each side, stretch. And, the other side. Next is the knees. We’re going to start turning your toes out just a little bit and make
two fists next to your hip, but make sure your fist
is loose and comfortable. Bend your knees and take a small step forward, touching down on the ball of the foot and gently punch forward at the same time with the other hand. Let’s do the other side. Right toe on the ground
and punch the left fist. Come back. Now, if you’re comfortable you are, can stretch a little further if you like. Come back. If you’re not too sure,
do a smaller stretch or hang on to a chair or
something to support you. One last stretch with the knee, and then we’re going to do
the second knee stretch. Still starts the same way, but we’re going to touch
down on the heel first, then put your foot down
with all your weight, and then shift your weight
forward and gently punch forward. Come back. Same with the other side, heel, foot, and punch the opposite fist. Come back. Step, gentle punch, come back. And step, gentle punch, come back. One more time. Now we’re going down to the ankles. Bend your knees a little bit and touch the heel, the toe, heel, toes, heel and then toes. And let’s do the same the other foot. Heel, toe, heel, toe, heel, toe. And now, we’re going to just gently turn your ankle inwards and outwards. Inward and outwards. Make sure you don’t put weight on it. And the other side. Inward, outward, in, out, in, out. Have a little shake. – [Narrator] Learn new forms. – Qigong is one of the
oldest exercises in history, dating back to thousands
of years in China. It encompasses a variety of breathing and meditative exercises,
some of them with movements, and some of them are stationary. The first Wu Chi means life
energy within a living being. And the second Wugong means a
method or a formal exercise. So, simply, Qigong is an exercise to
cultivate the live energy. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a person with good Qi
is healthy and strong. The core power of Tai Chi is Qi. So, Tai Chi is a form of moving Qigong. I’m going to teach you
the essential Qigong that will help you
internalise the Tai Chi, and thus make it more powerful. This Qigong are easy to learn, and with practice you can incorporate them into your Tai Chi forms. The first Qigong exercise is an exercise for posture. It’s called posture of infinity. When the universe started,
it was infinity, it was huge. And, it’s standing upright without being tense, your feet parallel, about shoulder width, so you are in good balance. Your body is upright, as
though you are a string, and you’re stretching that
string from both sides, looking eye level and quiet your mind. Staying for just a little
while, 10, 20 seconds. When you feel comfortable
then you can just let go, relax and shake your legs. I am going to follow a similar
format with all my lessons. Firstly, I’ll show you
the entire movement. Then I’ll break it up into small parts and teach one part at a time. But I’ll always start from the
beginning of each movement. The foundational movements
are the most important movements in the set. So we’re going to do left and right side of the foundational
movements, and each movement have a beginning and an ending. And to the left and right
side, we’re gonna do it twice, so it’s like a little
miniature, flowing set. I’m gonna show you the first one first, which is walking forward. You start with your hands in the back, like this, palms facing out. Let me show you. – [Narrator] Movement
one, stepping forward. (gentle acoustic music) – Start with your feet,
toes pointing up a little, and slightly separate to a
comfortable stance for you. And then bring your hands to the back so that the wrists are resting on the back here. Then you bend your knees to
what’s comfortable to you, shift weight to the right,
and then take a step straight with the left foot. Take a small step, just a step
that’s comfortable to you. Put your foot down and then
shift your weight forward. Then as you shift your weight
back, lift your toe up. I’d like to introduce Janet. – Hello. – Janet is a doctor and a Tai Chi teacher. Bending your knee might look simple, but sometimes it takes a
lot of your muscle power. One of the things in Tai
Chi, when we bend our knees, it’s a good idea not to over bend it, because if bent too far,
you lost the balance. Let me show you what I mean. Janet will turn to the side and show you if she bend down, the knee cap to the toe, if you draw a line, then that kneecap should never go past that toe. So she shouldn’t bend so far that her kneecap pass the toe. This would be just nice. It’s must better to bend
less, stand up more, that’s totally okay. ‘Cause if you’re not used to
bending down with your knee sometimes you can just put
too much muscle strength. So when we teach you
this movement later on, as you bend down, and then you can continue to keep that bend position, but if you feel that’s a little tiring, it’s quite okay to stand up. That will release the tension. Later on, as you practice more Tai Chi, and your legs get stronger, then slowly, slowly, you can stay slightly bent. And after weeks and months,
when your muscle gets stronger, then you can bend a little
lower and a little lower and that’s a good way
to build your strength. – [Narrator] Follow Doctor Lam. – Bend your knees, weight on the right, take a step on the left, foot down, weight forward, and then weight back. Left toe up. Let’s do that again. Bend to what’s comfortable to you. Shift your weight, take a step forward, weight forward, weight back, lift up the left toe. One more time. Bend your knees, take a step forward, foot down, weight forward and weight back. Then you turn with your hip or your waist, so that your toe turns to the left. Then put your foot down, weight forward, and then bring the right
foot closer to the left but not too close. Follow me. Bend your knees, take a step forward, foot down, weight forward, weight back, toe up, turn with your waist to the left. Foot down, weight forward, and bring the right
foot closer to the left. Let’s do that again, step back. Bend your knees. Take a step forward, foot down, weight forward, weight back, toe up. Turn to the left, foot down, and bring the right
foot closer to the left. Let’s do that one more time. Bend your knees, step forward, foot down, weight forward, weight back, turn. Foot down. The great thing about Tai Chi is the training us to balance. Physical balance helps us to be stronger and less likely to
fall, or reduce falling. Mental balance helps us
to be mentally strong. So when you’re physically stronger you’re also mentally stronger. The mind, the body is connected. To train you to have better balance it’s really important to train you to be aware of your weight
and to step in the right way. So it might seem very
simple and not very exciting to start with, but this a really good foundational exercise if
you can just put up with it and take your time
training these leg muscles, training that weight
transference is going to make the rest of your Tai Chi so much easier and so much more enjoyable. So, follow me again, I’m
going to do the other side similarly, and then I’m going to join it so that we’re going to
do two left, two right, stepping forwards. Bend your knees, step forward, weight forward, weight back. Turn your waist, put your foot down. Weight forward, bring the
right foot closer to the left. And the same way, we’re going to step the right foot forward, put the foot down, weight forward, weight back. Lift the toe up, turn and then shift your weight forward, bring the left foot closer to the right. And then we continue to
do one more on the left, foot down, weight forward, weight back, turn. Foot down, weight forward. Let’s do one more time with the right. Foot down, weight forward, weight back, turn. And then you can have your
left foot closer to the right, back to where we started. – [Narrator] Follow Doctor Lam. – Bend your knees to where is comfortable. Take a step forward, weight forward, weight back, turn, put the foot down. Right foot closer to the left. Step forward with the
right foot, foot down, weight forward, weight back, turn with your hip. Weight forward, left
foot closer to the right, step your left foot
forward, weight forward, weight back, turn, foot down. Follow step, step forward, weight forward, weight back, turn. And left foot join the right. And slowly, slowly, stand up. – [Narrator] Run through lesson one. – Quiet your mind. Stand for just a little
while, 10, 20 seconds. Bend your knees to where is comfortable, take a step forward, weight forward, weight back, turn. Put your foot down. Right foot closer to the left. Step forward with the
right foot, foot down, weight forward, weight back, turn with your hip. Weight forward, left
foot closer to the right, step your left foot
forward, weight forward, weight back, turn. Foot down, follow step, step forward, weight forward. – [Narrator] You can
continue to walk forward for as many times as you like. Stop and repeat whenever you wish. Cool down exercises. – Now we’re going to do
three cooling down exercises. First one, gently tap your thigh. Lift your knees to what’s
comfortable to you. And the next one, we’re going
to gently clench your fists. Breathe in, and tense your body, and then let go. Breathe out. Gentle clench, tense, relax, let go. Breathe in as you tense,
breathe out as you relax. And the next cooling down
exercise, breathe in, and breathe out as you
gently press your hands down. Breathe in, and out. And one more time, breathe in, and out. – [Narrator] Message by Doctor Lam. – Another great thing
about Tai Chi is that it doesn’t matter how
old or how young you are, you can learn Tai Chi
and continue to progress, and if you wish, a lifetime. I heard from the tennis
world, they talk about the top tennis player, they
say when they reach 30, they’re too old, and that’s ridiculous. With Tai Chi, I have students
who’s over 90 year old. They learn Tai Chi and
they continue to progress, enjoy, and grow in Tai Chi. See you next lesson,
remember to keep practising . – [Narrator] Previews. – Hello and welcome, in 1974, when I graduated from medical school, my arthritis become worse. I took up Tai Chi to help
me manage the condition. It has been a life-changing, and still is, a life-changing experience for me. Tai Chi certainly improved my arthritis and enabled me to enjoy my
chosen and very busy lifestyle. I’ve seen the same impressive
result with thousands of people over the years. By now, numerous study
has shown Tai Chi improve almost all aspects of health. In particular, a good
number of study has shown our program are effective at improving quality of life, health,
and improving balance, leading to people with
less pain and less falls. – [Narrator] Doctor Marlene
Fransen, chief investigator of the largest ever published
Tai Chi for arthritis study, explains the results of her study. – In our study, we found
that Tai Chi for arthritis greatly improved joint
pain and physical function for people with osteoarthritis
of the hips or knees. – [Narrator] Dr Paul
Lam’s team of Tai Chi and medical experts have
produced several series of instructional DVDs for students of varying interests and levels. These range from beginner
series to improve health and lifestyle,
to the advanced series to expand your skill. Using his simple and
proven teaching method, Doctor Lam will show you
the forms step-by-step from different angles, with
close-ups, repetitions, illustrating them with
diagrams and footprints. He divides the form into small sections, so you can follow him with ease. He also explains the Tai Chi principles, and the inner meaning of the forms, and how to improve your Tai Chi. Doctor Lam has taken much time and care to make every DVD useful. When producing the Tai
Chi for Arthritis DVD, he worked closely with the
Arthritis Foundation of America to maximise the health
benefits for the users. Doctor Patience White,
chief public health officer of Arthritis Foundation in
USA, explains the reason why Arthritis Foundation
collaborates with Doctor Lam. – We at the Arthritis
Foundation are excited that you’re interested
in Tai Chi for Arthritis, brought to you by Doctor
Paul Lam, a worldwide renowned expert in Tai Chi,
and the Arthritis Foundation, your number one place to go
for arthritis information. – [Narrator] Tai Chi for Energy
and Tai Chi for Beginners are presented as virtual lessons. It will be like as though
you are participating in Doctor Lam’s class. Here is a list of beginners,
health, intermediate, and advanced series. (gentle acoustic music) – Our Tai Chi and
medical team really enjoy making useful material that
makes a difference for people. And I look forward to hear from you. – [Narrator] For a complete
range of Doctor Lam instructional DVDs, books,
music CDs, and charts, please visit Doctor Lam’s
website at taichiproductions.com.

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