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As of December 2014, Susan is certified to teach Qi gong and t'ai chi by the New York School of T'ai Chi Chuan, Inc.

 

“Us” is Susan Hamovitch

Susan has been practicing T’ai Chi Chu’an and Qi Gong for about thirty years. Beginning in the mid 80’s she studied the Yang form of T’ai Chi, as well as Qi Gong and T’ai Chi sword form. These days she is studying more diverse approaches to Qi Gong, with a particular focus on the applications of t’ai chi for health and recovery. As mentioned in other places on this site, the latest medical research is showing t’ai chi to have a real ability to help people with a wide range of health issues -- from back pain, to insomnia. It has been credited for a while for being able to improve the quality of life and lessen symptoms for people with MS and Parkinson’s.

Some of Susan’s students have found indeed that Qi Gong can be a source of healing.

Sue, an elderly student, had the rude shock of breaking her pelvis after a fall and for the first time, needed a walker to get around. T’ai Chi requires the ability to slowly shift one’s weight from one foot to the other -- not easy for someone still gripping the handle of a walker -- so they focused mostly on Qi Gong and some on t’ai chi walking. Sue had this to say.

“Working with Susan and enjoying her company and her ready wit
during our sessions has been a great pleasure. Even more
important is that as a dedicated walker, I find that my balance and my confidence on my feet have improved immeasurably. I look forward to continuing the work with her.”
Sue Finklestein

The Yang form of T’ai Chi Ch’uan (which you would be learning) was developed by Cheng Man Ch’ing, a native of China, who carefully pared the traditional and longer form down to a a concise sequence of thirty seven flowing and interconnected moves. Taking about ten minutes to complete, they teach us the principles of yin and yang -- hard and soft. The stability of the stance, the slowness of the movements (in t’ai chi slower is definitely better) in which the rhythm of breathing is integrated, gradually helps the practitioner develop a surprising amount of flexibility, strength and balance.

Susan will be adding an additional element -- something that we hear in certain parts of the City (at improbably early hours) when Chinese folk gather to practice T’ai Chi, and that is, the high notes of Chinese string music. It’s a nice part of the tradition that somehow got lost when the form travelled into American studios. Susan has used music in other situations, finding it to have remarkable power, and here in Brooklyn, she will be using a variety of sounds and musical styles to help us in-gather our ch’i, or internal energy, focus our minds and center us on our feet.

 

Finally...she attempts to address the needs and capabilities of her students. Exercises for home practice are offered. And as much as possible, classes will allow for individual as well as group teaching.