Karen Monson moved to Taos in January 2015 from Santa Barbara, Ca. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Connecticut and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara, Ca. An animal advocate, painter and photographer she has volunteered with many animal agencies, working with everything from sea lions and seals to discovering the wonderful world of horses here in Taos. Karen had the great fortune of studying with Grandmaster Tung Kai Ying and his senior student in the U.S. in Santa Barbara, David Barton, for over 30 years. She left Santa Barbara as David’s senior student and looks forward to teaching here in Taos.
Mondays 5:00 p.m. Thursdays 12:00 p.m.
First class is always complementary.
What is Tai Chi Chu’an ?
Tai Chi Chu’an is an internal Martial Art that has its roots in 13th century China. In the west, it is often referred to as “meditation in motion.”
The “long form Yang style” is a series of 108 “postures” that are woven together in one long movement called “the form”. Legend has it that these original postures were created by a Taoist monk, also a martial artist, that was observing the fight between a bird and snake. All the postures can be translated to principles found in nature and animals moving in nature. By studying these movements, we begin to discover what animals know; how to move with exquisite awareness of one’s surroundings and of one’s own body moving through space.
Balance Balance and more Balance
If one wants to become intimate with the notion of balance, Tai Chi is a wonderful way to do that. When a bi-ped moves fast, momentum can override the power of gravity. This changes when we move slowly. We have to learn how to cope with gravity in a new way. This new way revolves around discovering and studying the center of gravity in our own body and in the things around us. Much like a spinning top that defies gravity by balancing around its central axis. We train awareness of our own center and how to shift weight and move from that center with the utmost efficiency and leverage. This can have powerful martial applications but most people find the practice transcends the physical and can help with centering and balancing in other aspects of one’s life.
Some more benefits….
Believe it or not, it takes strength to go slow. So we develop strength through both the slow and faster moving sets (there are some fast sets).
Besides balance the postures are known to:
*strengthen the core
*lubricates the joints
*massages the internal organs
*loosens the fascia tissue surrounding the internal organs by loosening the waist.
*moves that mysterious notion of Chi in the body
*strengthens legs and helps to protect your back
*reduces LDL levels and increases T cells
*enhances cardiovascular fitness
* helps with neuroplasticity of the brain, and brain healing and function
I could talk forever about the roots of Tai Chi, the benefits, and how it has helped me immensely throughout my life. Even Harvard medical school coined it “medication in Motion,” and their studies are validating what the Chinese have known for centuries; that Tai Chi has a long list of health benefits for people of all ages. Lucky for me, I found it in my 20’s. But I have taught people in their 80’s who have fallen in love with the practice. You are never too old or too young to begin to learn Tai Chi.
Feel free to call or text Karen with any questions you may have at
📞 (805) 618-0373