Tai Chi in New York City Public Schools
To Tai Chi & Qigong Teachers:
IMPORTANT TEACHING TIP: Meditative techniques cannot be coerced! See "To Public Educators" to your left. From our experience, teaching in public schools, prison settings, or even in corporate wellness presentations ... participants must be their because they "choose" to be there. This means that when you approach teachers or schools (see below), you must pre-arrange with them to have an opt out option for those who do not want to "own" their participation. We find that in public school classes, generally about 90 to 95% of students WANT to participate. By allowing the 10 to 15% of students another option, you insure that those who do participate get a quality experience.
How to Approach Schools:
Contact schools with the medical research information in WorldTaiChiDay.org's Medical Research Library on how Tai Chi can treat ADHD, and increase mental acuity and brain size, and many other benefits.
Often Health Science teachers might be interested in Tai Chi and Qigong, although drama, music, or even athletic coaches may be interested. Create a flyer for teachers boxes. It all depends on just finding that one right person who already has heard how good Tai Chi and Qigong can be for students.
Work to create age appropriate programs. Young children may need some aerobic activity to work out some energy, and then gradually get them into the moving Qigong and Tai Chi, and finish with meditation (I find laying down on nap matts is most conducive to meditation.)
Keep it light and fun. Focus on breathing full abdominal breaths, and teach them how to "soong" or to let go and sink as they exhale, allowing all their muscles to let go and sag on their body.
Encourage them to close their eyes during Moving Qigong and Laying Down meditations so they can "feel inside" the sensations of themselves, not focusing mentally on the outside world, but free falling within.
Meditation can be age-appropriate, with very young children I use images of falling into and floating on clouds, letting them lift and flow me wherever as I breathe and let go, and let my whole body let go, and sink into a cloud.
Experiment with age groups to determine what they can do, and always be flexible and adjusting your teaching methods to make them more accessible and effective.
Teachers, find tips on teaching Tai Chi and Qigong to children in age appropriate ways.
For more tips, check out Tai Chi for Special Education.