The first lesson with Nancy opened my eyes on the different teaching style Nancy offered. It was very calm, paying lots of attention in explaining step by step and having students repeat until we could remember. It is great. I am able to remember all the forms she has taught me. I am still working on the chi, but now I can practice on my own, I know I am a step closer.”
“I have been attending Tai Chi classes with Nancy and Mike for the past 2 months and doing the warm up and breathing exercises at home 4 to 5 times a week. My right shoulder had been injured several years ago and the degree of motion is increased considerably as a result of the exercises. My posture has improved and also an awareness of when I need to adjust to keep it in alignment. I am experiencing greater strength in my legs and especially in the upper leg. All this leads to better balance overall and especially in going up and down steps. I have not been exercising as much due to some back pain so this has been an excellent gentle and pleasurable way to strengthen and tone my body. I am just beginning the forms and feel that they benefit brain function by learning something new.
Besides being a beautiful discipline it calms my mind and body. Peace begins with each one of us and Tai Chi is a very centering and peaceful practice.”
“Tai Chi brings me awareness, focus, fun and family.”
“Back when I was in college I took a karate class. I liked the idea of learning self-defense and of being able to handle myself in the event of a physical conflict. But it wasn’t long before I discovered that for me the best part of my karate class was learning the kata. There was something about the solemnity and formality of those movements that resonated with me.
Years later on television I saw a large group of people all doing tai chi together and it looked beautiful. It reminded me of the kata I’d learned but it was much more graceful and dance-like. I knew I would have to seek out a way to get involved with it.
Recently I attended a fundraiser, and at the silent auction I was delighted to see private tai chi lessons up for bid. I figured now’s the time, so I bid and won.
I’ve had four lessons now, and I’m loving it. The phrase “dynamic stillness” seems to describe the feeling I get as I go through the movements. I’m currently reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, and I can’t think of a movement discipline more in tune with his message of living fully and consciously in the present moment.
I have a sense that this practice will be beneficial not only for my physical health, but for my spiritual health as well.”
“Tai Chi fascinates me and refreshes me. I like the concept of the Ying and the Yang in the way we move. Learning to coordinate feet, body, hands can be difficult but going through the movements feel good. I like to note how similar and how different it is from karate. At the end of class, I feel taller and full of good breath (the only way I can think to phrase it.).”
“Tai Chi and the exercises have helped me strengthen my body. On a flight back from Chicago, it allowed me to sit in a seat without a working seat back for three hours and not feel any negative effects to my body.
It has allowed me to work longer and harder in the woods without feeling any sore muscles.
In 1971, I was hurt in an industrial accident at work and received a crushed knee and a fractured thigh bone. I do not have a new knee. The exercises that I do are helping the muscles around my knee get stronger and helping my balance.”
“In the beginning when I started learning Tai Chi, I just wanted to learn the forms. Then I can practice by myself to give me some form of exercise after I retired! Now, after 7 years of learning from Nancy & Mike, I realize I have a long way to go!
I found out that Tai Chi Chuan is a life time of learning, of coordination, balance, keeping every movement circular, relaxed and in harmony, eyes, head, hands, feet must be coordinated with the movement of the body.
Tai Chi is helping me to be patient, with good postures, concentration, balance and commitment. Nancy and Mike have not given up in continuing to teach me. They have been very helpful in being my teachers and my friends. By coming to classes I am seeing old friends and making new friends and having fun. My life time goal is to continue to practice the 10 principles of Tai Chi. Maybe one day I can say I really finally learned it!”
“I started taking Tai Chi classes at the Woodinville Parks & Rec because I had a friend that really wanted me to join the classes. She talked about the benefits of the classes from a physical standpoint. I decided a little exercise couldn’t hurt, so I signed up.
But as it turned out, the emotional aspects of the class came to mean the most to me. I was new to the area and really didn’t know many people. Because my children are older and past school age, it wasn’t easy meeting new people and developing relationships. To my joy, I have met some wonderful women who have added a lot to my life. I look forward to seeing them on Monday mornings and hearing about their lives and sharing mine with them.
An extra bonus is the benefits of Tai Chi. It’s been a lot harder that I expected it to be. But, Nancy, you’ve been very patient and encouraging and for that I am eternally grateful.
I’m not a natural at this, by any means, but everyone in the class has been very helpful and not made me feel like a total klutz. I do feel that I’m making progress and will keep at it and probably get more comfortable with it. But I do appreciate your support, Nancy, and look forward to getting better at this.”
“Why Tai Chi when there are so many other forms of physical exercise like aerobics, water exercise, yogi, jogging or cycling. I’ve practiced them all at one time, and even now do low impact aerobics and a little cycling. I was introduced to Tai Chi by a fellow engineer at work where it was a good lunchtime exercise. My wife and I took lessons several years ago, but stopped because it was inconvenient to get to the class location. I restarted learning Tai Chi last fall when I noticed a class offered in Snohomish.
Why do I work at Tai Chi? Several reasons, the primary being that making Tai Chi movements require turning and rotating the body, with supporting movement of feet and legs. All actions we don’t use frequently, especially as we mature. And to take a line from Pat Morita in “The Karate Kid”- It’s about balance; all life is balance. In the Tai Chi forms we stand on one leg, then the other leg, and kick. We rotate 180 degrees and punch; all things we used to do at frequently play, but don’t do often as adults. So I work at Tai Chi in an attempt to regain or retain movement and improve balance. Necessary concentration and mental/physical challenge required by Tai Chi also provide me stress relief in a too busy world.”
“I would like to thank you for being my teacher in Tai Chi. I have had a previous teacher and I learnt nothing; but with you, I have learned a lot – the forms and movements. And after I practice, I feel good.
Practicing Tai Chi has helped me concentrate better, become more focus, and have better balance. During the class, I find that I laugh more and enjoy the company of my peers. After the class, my spirits are lifted. I look forward going to class and having more lessons with you.”
“Studying Tai Chi as a couple has allowed us to share our differing strengths.
Curt’s years of dealing with reversing directions intended for the right handed allows him to analyze what he is being shown -even if it is occasionally more confusing. He is able to remember details.
Connie adds natural grace and has some dance experience which helps with the sequence of movements.
Tai Chi is together time for us. Sharing this experience, intended to improve our physical balance as we age, has also improved the balance in our relationship and increased our mutual respect and friendship.”
Curt and Connie
“May 2007 was a very low period of my life because it was just two months short of the first anniversary of the death of Harry, my husband of fifty-six years. I was feeling particularly melancholy because May had always before been the month for family celebrations of Mother’s Day, Harry’s birthday, and our wedding anniversary. To make matters worse in May 2007, I had begun experiencing pain in my neck, left shoulder, and upper left arm.
I knew that I needed some regular physical activity and that I also needed to expand my circle of friends. When I saw the short notice in The Herald about the tai chi class for beginners being offered at the Snohomish Senior Center (meeting temporarily in a church just a block from my home), it seemed almost providential. After I met the instructor, Nancy Lucero, and attended my first class on May 29th, I was certain I had made a good decision.
Rewarding though it is, learning the tai chi forms is admittedly challenging. Nancy conducts the classes with great good humor as well as patience. When she senses a certain level of frustration among us students, she may slow the pace, review previous lessons, or change the emphasis. She lets us know that she believes we are capable of learning this discipline regardless of our age or any limiting physical conditions.
An interesting part of Nancy’s instruction is her explanation and demonstration of the martial arts aspect of tai chi. Nancy encourages us to attend tai chi demonstrations by advanced students and masters when they are appearing in the surrounding areas. All of these opportunities to broaden our experience of tai chi serve to encourage, energize, and help the class to bond as a group, as well as to form individual friendships. Tai chi has been an excellent remedy for my physical, mental, and spiritual ailments.”
“Tai Chi is a pleasant form of exercise you can do at any age (I am 80 years young). Tai Chi helps maintain my balance and mobility. It also takes a lot of thinking when first learning. Keeping the mind active is a very good exercise. It is also a good means of socializing.”
“After an abrupt leaving from a grand professional career, Tai Chi became a tool for finding peace within myself and better understanding of the ability, strength and stability of my physical and mental status.
Physical preparations used in the classes enabled me to increase big muscle strength, stamina, and positional changes to accommodate loss of balance. Memory deficit was aided by the patience of the instructor and the need to remember the Tai Chi forms. Multiple class attendance has aided memory of large movements with adding small movements spread over several classes. It gives me satisfaction to participate and learn and refine forms at my pace.
A feeling of peace was experienced with the first class- 2 years ago. It has naturally become a part of participating in the movements of the Tai Chi forms and the smooth movements of my body.
Finally, all of the physical improvements related to balance, leg muscle strengthening, and memory improvement was noted and encouraged by my neurologist.”
“I have read Tai Chi is excellent for good health, well-being and stress. That sounds good to me – just what I need.
I came to class ready to learn and get rid of all my stress. SURPRISE – Tai Chi causes stress!! After several classes I ‘m thinking, “What am I doing here?” I can’t seem to remember what comes next, I can’t multitask (hands, arms, and feet all in the correct position) and my brain will just go blank.
I have to quit, but I can’t quit. I enjoy the class and the friends here.
Nine months later, I see the benefits I was hoping for. Even the stress level is better. Well, maybe – what do you mean stand on one leg?”
“Most of all Tai Chi makes me happy. The rhythm of the movements centers me and fills me with a sense of well-being. Although handicapped with a muscle disease, the clear instruction presented in a kind, patient, nonjudgmental way allows Tai Chi’s magic to work for me too. Working through Tai Chi’s movements increases my core and leg strength, improves my balance (no more falling every time I trip), and enhances my ability to remember details and multi-step tasks. I feel good during Tai Chi and energized after. It’s an energy that often lasts through the rest of my day, and I accomplish more. The camaraderie and friendships developed in our class add the spark of laughter and fun to an already enjoyable activity.”
“Someone suggested when I did meditational yoga that Tai Chi might be another way to find peace within. I started Tai Chi in 2004. My goal wasn’t to relieve stress but to learn the art form as a way to continue to exercise the body as it ages. However, I noticed Tai Chi began to balance my inner self as well as strengthen my physical frame. It has taught me to be patient with myself. It challenges me to be better at what I’m doing, and it teaches me endurance. I now stand taller and as I do the form I try to move with grace. It has made me aware of the relationship between my torso and my limbs. Aside from all the physical and emotional goodness, it has provided me an opportunity to meet and make new friends. It is now an addiction I cannot live without.”
“My Tai Chi journey began January 2008, at the Woodinville Parks & Recreation class under the instruction of Nancy Lucero. I thought this gentle form of exercise would be beneficial because I had back surgery in November 2007 and my recovery had been very slow. My leg strength has improved, along with my balance; but what I have enjoyed most is the fun we have in class. I look forward to each class because of the people–the greetings, the interactions, the laughter, the genuine concern of others. I am learning–to be in the moment; to be calm; to breathe; to be flowing in motion, slowly, easily and steadily; to be strong and supple. I am on a journey of discovery.”
“I love the sense of accomplishment and coordination I feel each time I can remember and execute a new movement and connect it to the prior ones! Tai is my first attempt at learning a series of flowing, connected body movements. It is a surprising memory challenge to focus on moving my hands, my arms, my feet and body correctly through the series of positions called for in The Form.
I came to Tai Chi looking for a low impact, interesting type of exercise that would not jar my arthritic hips. Tai Chi movements are natural; they are great muscle strengtheners for lower body muscles. I relied on this low impact muscle strengthening to help me exercise without pain both before and after my hip replacement surgery last year. With well-toned supporting muscles, my recovery was smooth and fast.
Camaraderie with new friends in Tai Chi classes has been a lovely side benefit of my joining the Woodinville Tai Chi classes. We each learn from the questions posed by others, and we share laughs as we stretch our memory banks and our body coordination together.
Many thanks to a GREAT TEACHER!”
“I initially looked into tai chi for health reasons. At the time I was on oxygen and medication, which had caused a weight gain. I needed an exercise or program which I could do in my home.
I attended the tai chi demonstration at the Snohomish Senior Center and registered for the class. I was in the first group of students who started class at the Snohomish Senior Center on October 31, 2006.
I believe tai chi has been one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever given myself. I enjoy the tai chi practices and helping others improve their movements. I am also thankful for all the wonderful friendships I’ve made.
My health has improved and I’ve never looked back!”
“I have been intrigued by Tai Chi for years, after seeing it on TV and in the movies. The movements look so lovely and serene. I signed up for my first class in January and I’ve been hooked ever since.
My first class was a surprise, with Tai Chi not being exactly what I expected. I thought each class would have a different routine. I discovered quickly that Tai Chi is a discipline, with an ancient, traditional order to the movements. And more to my surprise, I’ve discovered that it’s the order and the discipline that will keep me practicing Tai Chi. I want to get good at it.
I look forward to my Tai Chi class all week. Practicing Tai Chi brings me serenity and focus. Just stepping into the classroom lifts my spirits and lowers my heart rate. When I raise my hands in the opening movement, I feel a sense of peace and my mind clears. My weekly class has become a time for me, a time to rejuvenate myself, and a time to learn.”
“I started Tai Chi 2 years ago knowing next to nothing about it. I was a little nervous at first however Nancy put me at ease right away. Tai Chi has helped my balance and and at the same time made me more mindful of my body and how it functions. As I continue on my Tai Chi journey I realize it has changed my outlook on my life – it’s the ying and yang or give and take that I have learned in Tai Chi that has given me peace that I can apply in my own life. Another wonderful benefit is the wonderful “family” that has formed in our group. I look forward to my classes every week! I’m truly so glad I discovered Tai Chi and Nancy Lucero – she an exceptional teacher.”
“I wanted to learn Tai Chi for the purpose of meditation and to feel the flow of chi. I took Tai Chi for a year before I came to Nancy’s class, but I could not remember all the forms. Therefore, it was impossible to practice on my own.