Tai Chi Classes

Parent Q&A

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  • After spending too much time in my head these past few years, I am looking to ground myself in my body through a meditative physical activity. I'm intrigued by Tai Chi, however I'm having trouble finding beginning level classes, particularly ones that are held outdoors.  Can you recommend any beginning level Tai Chi classes that are held in an outdoor setting in the Berkeley/El Cerrito area? I'm open to other meditative forms of physical activity so please let me know if there are ones that you might suggest! Thanks in advance for your input.   

    Wen Wu School in El Cerrito on San Pablo just north of Central is excellent.

    They have a paved back area. There are also spinoff practice groups that meet in parks.

    There is a class held on weekday mornings at Codornices park. I used to see it back in May/June this year, several times a week, around 9-9:30am. Sorry I don't have contact info or specific days but it was definitely open to new students as I sometimes saw people approach and join after a short talk with the instructor. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews

August 2013

RE: Yoga class recommendation for older women

I've been very impressed with classes at Albany Community Center. They have several classes for people 50 and over. The Tai Chi class is great and has many people in their 70s. It is drop-in , very inexpensive, and teacher is wonderful.

Experience with Tai Chi classes?

Sept 2012

Experience with Tai Chi classes. Lenzi Williams vs Plum Blossom schools? Benefits, injuries, etc. Seeking Tai Chi

We love White Magnolia Tai Chi school (affiliated with the Plumblossom International Federation) which is on Colusa near Thousand Oaks in Kensington. My husband and I are seniors looking to retain and improve balance, coordination, and general health--we're in the Beginner/Restorative classes, and may stay there forever! But other students progress on into the more advanced classes in which students learn more complex forms, depending on intention, physical ability, and interest. The teachers--especially the head teacher, Miriam Marsolais, are excellent, and incredibly patient. There is also a Tai Chi stretching class (sort of like pre-Tai Chi) on Saturday mornings which is incredibly helpful for out-of-shape folks like us, and two wonderful yoga classes on Friday mornings. I can't recommend White Magnolia highly enough. Reasonably priced, too. Check them out at http://www.whitemagnoliataichi.com. --Tai Chi beginner

March 2011

Re: Looking for a good qigong class
another excellent value is tai chi classes offered at alameda hospital in the city of alameda. (yoga also). $40 for 8-wks; that's $5/class! open to the public. http://www.alamedahospital.org/classdescription.htm

Tai Chi For Chronic Pain Issues

Sept 2010

Please help me sift through the dozens of classes I find online! I'm looking for a tai chi class that will help me with my chronic pain. I've read the study that shows real benefits from tai chi, but I'm afraid of injuring myself in the wrong setting. I need to find one that's taught by someone with medical expertise and/or psychological sensitivity. I'm also hoping for low-cost options. anonymous

You might try White Magnolia Tai Chi. (http://www.whitemagnoliataichi.com/) on Colusa in Kensington. (Just across the border from Berkeley). The head of the school, Miriam Marsolais, is a psychologist specializing in the treatment of trauma and came to Tai Chi while recovering from being very badly burned. She has a lot of understanding of the kind of issues you're asking about. You can come by and try a free class and talk with Miriam. (I'm a student and sometimes instructor at the school, so I may be biased.) Peter

Good Low Cost or Free Tai Chi Class

Nov 2008

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a really good low cost or free Tai Chi class in the East Bay. Maybe at UC Berkeley or Laney or Chinatown or ???? Thanks for your help! Andrea

There are very nice classes at the Beat in Berkeley (Tai Chi Chuan Berkeley). Classes are taught in an open, friendly and supportive atmosphere and there is no pressure to learn at a certain pace. The per-class fee structure ($13) is also much better than a fixed monthly fee. A systematic approach is taken to learning the underlying principles of Tai Chi Chuan through stance, posture and forms training. The classes also include a set of Chi Kung moves (the 8 Brocade) as well as stretching and light body workouts. For more information please see http://www.taichichuanberkeley.com or call 510.849.0892

Oct 2008

Re: martial arts classes
There are Yang style Tai Chi classes at The Beat - Eddie Brown Center for the Arts in Berkeley (2560 9th Street). All levels are welcome and classes are taught in an open, relaxed and nurturing atmosphere. Please see: www.taichichuanberkeley.com

Local Tai Chi class for my stressed-out husband!

March 2008

I am looking for a local Tai Chi class for my stressed-out husband! Other than White Magnolia in Kensington, do you recommend any classes within a 5-mile radius of Berkeley? They do not have to be at a school. Thanks much! Sressed out by Stressed Out Husband

For local Tai Chi classes - you might want to look into classes taught by Fong Ha, an experienced teacher of many years. He teaches a Saturday morning class that meets at Thousand Oaks School on Colusa Ave in Berkeley (near Solano Avenue). I believe he also teaches Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Julia Morgan Hall in back of Thousand Oaks Baptist Church (across the street from Thousand Oaks School on Colusa Ave). Also, you can find Tai Chi classes at the Albany Community Center. And if you are willing to drive to Walnut Creek, Jan Diepersloot is a fine and experienced instructor. You can reach Jan at 925-906-9534. Longtime Tai Chi student

There are wonderful adult tai chi classes at Tai Chi Berkeley, which is at 8th and Parker, under the auspices of Lenzie Williams, a very special tai chi master. There are several times and choices, so it's convenient. There are also wonderful classes at White Magnolia in the Kensington area. Both schools are lovely. admire tai chi

I recommend Starfire who teaches at Albany Community Center. He also teaches at Cal at the big gym (RSF) there. That's where I have taken classes for 3-4 years. He's an excellent teacher, sometimes leading tai chi trips to Hawaii. anon

Charles Adamec is a wonderful Tai Chi teacher (he's also an acupuncturist); he teaches early on the weekends in Berkeley near Claremont and Ashby, and near Rose and Sacramento on Thursday afternoons. Small classes, really excellent. You can reach him at 644-3724. I'm also happy to answer any questions about the class... dearsooz

I highly reccommend this Tai Chi class in Berkeley on Sunday morning at 10:30am. It's at the basketball/Volleyball court along the Ohlone Pathway between N. Berkeley Bart station and Cedar/Rose park. The instructor, Jonathan Russell, has been teaching for 30+ years. It's very low key and lots of fun. No uptight feeling at all. His number is 415.902.4350. Go check it out for yourself. Tai Chi for all

Tai chi class for my mom

June 2005

I am looking for a good beginners Tai Chi class in the East Bay for my mother (mid sixties), who will be visiting over the summer. Preferably in North Oakland or Berkeley. Does anyone have any seasoned personal recommendations? Thank you much.

Karen LeGault has a class in Oakland not far from Highland Hospital (easy off of 580). she's a wonderful tai chi teacher. Jessica

My neighbor goes to a tai chi class at one of the Berkeley senior centers on Wednesday mornings. It's the senior center near the Ashby Bart station (not sure what the name is.) She said it's open to non-Berkeley residents and is either low cost or free - she really likes it and goes even though she isn't quite yet a senior. Ginger

2003 & Earlier

Tai chi in Berkeley?

Oct 2003

Does anyone know of a morning Tai Chi class that preferably meets outside in Berkeley? Thanks stiff mom

The City of Albany Recreation Dept. offers Beginnig and Advanced Tai Chi. Check out www.albanyca.org for classes. Classes are held at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic in Albany. Chelle

There is a great beginning tai chi class in Berkeley that meets on Saturday mornings at 9:00. It's not outside, though. It's in the big studios on the corner of 8th and Dwight. The teacher is Lenzie Williams. He's been teaching tai chi for 25 years, and he is excellent. He teaches it not only as a physical practice but also as a mental and meditative practice. The address is 2525 8th St. Go in Bay 1 and all the way to the back of the space. There is a studio down a hallway to the left. The beginner's session just started on October 4, but you should be able to start this week, too. You can try it out with no obligation as well. There is also another beginner's class that meets in the same building on Thursday nights at 6:30 that is taught by one of his students. There might be other classes weekday mornings, but I'm not sure about that. Here's the only web address I was able to find for him: http://www.kawneerbuilding.com/Artists/Western_Sky/#TAI Mimi

I recommend Pacific Wu-Shu Academy at 1819 Tenth Street/cross street Delaware. The teaching quality is world class at a very reasonable price. The Tai-Chi instructor Zhang Hong Mei is from Beijing. In addition to Tai-Chi she and Phillip Wong teach Wushu, Chinese Martial Arts, to adults and children. Both instructors are kind, patient and extremely skilled at teaching in an individualized manner to each student regardless of their level. Also, they are awesome to watch. Phone: 415-841-8848 Email: PhillipandMei [at] pacificwushu.com Tai Chi classes are held Mo, We, 7:30 to 9pm, Sa 10am to 11:30am The web site is www.pacificwushu.com Rosa

Tai chi video

July 2003

I have a 22lb. 10 month old and my back is killing me. I have done Yoga in the past but am interested in doing Tai Chi @ home due to time constraints. Is there a good video out there for a beginner? Also some feedback on the Tai Chi class at the downtown Berk. Y would be great. Thanks! Want to try Tai Chi- mama

I used to do some T'ai Chi and a video I really liked is called T'ai Chi for health Yang Long Form with Terry Dunn. You can have my copy if you want to check it out. I live in El Cerrito.