What we're about
Dragon Prana Tai Chi is tai chi in the style of vinyasa flow yoga. It is a style for mediation, gentle exercise, aerobic exercise, or creative exploration, as you please. We calm our minds, strengthen our core, improve our balance, grow more graceful, and exercise our imaginations. We learn the foundations of tai chi but break from tradition to make it compact, modular, breath-focused, endlessly creative, and safer for the knees.
You can do this tai chi in the space of a yoga mat, if you like. Although we don't practice yoga in our classes, you could add variety to your yoga by alternating sun salutations with our tai chi formlets or by beginning or ending yoga practice with a tai chi routine.
The core of our practice is Tai Chi, but we take it to places that are new for Tai Chi. Sometimes we invent forms on the spot, sometimes we construct new forms from little formlets that connect together in endless ways, and sometimes we simply let ourselves go in gentle moving meditation. This is far from traditional Tai Chi. Instead, it is a hybrid of improvisational movement, vinyasa yoga, and tai chi body and mind techniques.
No prior experience is required. You will learn to perform Tai Chi movement for meditation, for aerobic exercise, and for creative exploration. Unlike traditional Tai Chi, you will be able to perform forms in as little or as much space as is available, whether it's a living room or an expansive outdoor field. And no matter how much space you have, the forms can be as short or as long as you like and as repetitive or as creative as you like.
We place special emphasis on protecting the body from harm. The teacher has modified traditional Tai Chi movements to make them less risky on the knees. Special effort will also be made to accommodate injuries and disabilities. The classes are gentle and only involve minimal aerobic activity.
All of the benefits of traditional Tai Chi remain available to us, and more. We will calm our minds, strengthen our core, improve our balance, continually grow more graceful, and exercise our imaginations. All this translates to greater all-round health and happiness.
This is a new and developing art, and you have the opportunity to be a participant in its evolution. My name is Joe Lapp, and I'm the teacher. I have 9 years of Tai Chi experience studying a variety of traditional Tai Chi forms. I also have a background in improvisational dance and in a variety of forms of yoga and used to be a substitute teacher for an eclectic power flow yoga school. After becoming injured 10 years ago, I came to translate my vinyasa yoga practice into a breath-based practice of improvisational Tai Chi. This class is the beginning of my effort to teach what I have learned and to further develop the art to benefit others.
Our school is now an official business: Dragon Prana, LLC.