Full Circle Synergy
500 Forest Avenue
Portland, Maine 04101
I began taking beginner classes at Full Circle Synergy just
in time, as it turned out, to help prepare me for major
surgery. My regular home practice and weekly Fundamentals
classes accelerated my healing. Now I continue to benefit
from Form classes and the personable and professional teachers."
~ George, age 67
"Let others attack with great
force; Use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds."
~ Song of Push Hands
"Being able to attract to emptiness,
you can use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds."
~ Li I-yu
DESCRIPTIONS SCHEDULE FEES & POLICIES CME/CEU's • REGISTRATION FREE
Chi Ch'uan • Qigong • Bagua
T'AI CHI CH'UAN
T'AI CHI FUNDAMENTALS
T’ai Chi Fundamentals is designed for both beginners and advanced students.
Based on Don Ethan Miller’s “20 Minute T’ai Chi Workout Program”,
this class combines fundamental Qigong and T’ai Chi exercises that are
easy to learn and remember. Students improve their balance and relieve stress
through active relaxation, more efficient body mechanics and cultivating internal
energy. These skills provide a good foundation for continuing with other classes
at Full Circle Synergy, including the T’ai Chi Form, and can improve one's
performance in other athletic activities. Advanced students say that learning
or reviewing T’ai Chi Fundamentals deepens their understanding of their
T’ai Chi Form and improves their Push Hands.
T'AI CHI CH'UAN FORM
T'ai Chi Form classes teach William C.C. Chen’s Yang Style
short form as a 10-12 minute moving meditation. Students usually
learn the Form after a T'ai Chi Fundamentals class, although
TCF is not required.
FORM LEVEL 1: Teaches the 60 movements of William C.C. Chen’s
short form in about 14 months, depending upon the collective
ability of the participating students. We have divided the 60
movement form into five sections to better clarify each class
curriculum: Section 1 movements 1-8, Section 2 movements 9-20,
Section 3 movements 21-30, Section 4 movements 31-52, Section
5 movements 53-60 and review. In addition
to learning the movement mechanics, students develop their own
practice, which allows them to "take home" the stress
reduction and active relaxation methods of T’ai Chi. Students
also expand their understanding of the self-healing and self-defense
principles of T’ai Chi. Most importantly, we hope that
students develop an appreciation for the quiet joy that comes
from practicing meditative movement.
FORM LEVEL 2: Encourages students to explore, study, and celebrate
the T’ai Chi Form. Emphasis varies depending upon the interests
of the students and teachers, but generally the self-healing
and self-defense applications of each movement are explored to
better understand T’ai Chi’s practical and natural
applications to everyday life. The teachings of the "old
masters" are emphasized, as is T’ai Chi’s relevance
to modern life.
Evidence-based Taiji, (EBT FORM) (click for link to description)
TAI CHI DAO (SABER) FORM
One of the four main TaI Chi weapons, the dao is a simpler weapon than the jian or double-edged sword, the techniques are fewer, and the form is shorter. Fall session students will learn the basics of the Yang Style Dao Form. Those who complete the fall session will have an opportunity for further study with Master Swordsman Scott Rodell at a special weekend seminar to be announced.
DEVELOPING TAI CHI SKILLS VIA TWO-PERSON WORK
In addition to Qigong and Tai Chi Form work, interactive two-person practice is invaluable for understanding the healing and martial components of Tai Chi Chuan. With help from a training partner, students can more directly access and cultivate skills of self-awareness, healing intent, and martial potential. This class will focus on two person exercises that illuminate internal dynamics of Qigong and Tai Chi form training. Themes will include, sensitivity, spatial awareness, mind/body intent, internal/external relationship, posture testing, and more. This class is appropriate for all levels, however, it is a great introduction to the kind of experience that push hands provides.
PUSH HANDS (TUI SHOU)
Push Hands is essentially a game between two people, applying
the principles of T’ai Chi in a martial context. Students
cultivate the essential qualities of internal energy, including
sensitivity, neutralization and yielding, rooting and uprooting,
and releasing tension during an interactive experience.
Superficially, the object is to push and not be pushed, but the
game is much more sophisticated than that. Students learn to
maintain their roots by neutralizing the push being received,
and to push with softness and sensitivity. Master Chen calls
this "push, no push."
As taught in this class, push hands is not "competitive" in
the usual sense, but is fun and exciting, challenging students
both physically and metaphysically, and fostering a deep understanding
of the system. Students of any age and ability are encouraged
to explore push hands once they have a few months of T’ai
Chi Fundamentals and/or T’ai Chi Form practice.
The lessons learned in push hands are not just for martial arts
or athletics. Many students notice beneficial application to
many of the daily interactions that occur between two people.
T'AI CHI SWORD FORM
The practice of T’ai Chi Sword form is an exhilarating,
flowing experience with martial origins. As dueling is largely
a thing of the past, the martial applications - while still important
- are less emphasized. In today’s world the practice of
the sword form cultivates many things, including the projection
of intent and awareness beyond one’s hand into the sword,
sensitivity to the space around you, and the ability to move
with rather than dominate a tool in your hand. Sword sparring
cultivates agility and fluidity balancing the rigidity of the
sword. This class is open to anyone who has practiced T’ai
Chi for at least two years, or by permission of the instructor.
It usually takes 9-12 months to learn the basic mechanics of
the Sword Form.
T'AI CHI BOXING
T’ai Chi Boxing is open to anyone who has some understanding
of the qualities and skills cultivated in T’ai Chi push
Hands. (Concurrent participation in the Monday night Push Hands
class is strongly encouraged.) This class will teach William
C.C. Chen-inspired body mechanics for boxing, kicking, and yielding,
Sparring will be a major component of our practice. T’ai
Chi Boxing looks similar to western boxing or kickboxing. T’ai
Chi boxing has more emphasis on following, understanding, and/or
controlling the flows of energy within oneself and between oneself
SOARING CRANE QIGONG
Appropriate for beginners and experienced practitioners alike,
Soaring Crane consists of 5 short sets of simple yet powerful
movements. The 5 forms are designed to open and revitalize
both the upper and lower body and work together to release
tension and stagnation while promoting relaxation within the
entire body. Soaring Qigong utilizes mindful practice to stimulate
acupuncture points and promote the free flow of qi throughout
the body, calming the mind and supporting wellness.
PRIMORDIAL QIGONG (Hunyuan Gong)
Primordial Qigong is a rare and powerful from the ancient Taoist
tradition as transmitted by renowned Tai Chi Chuan Master Feng
Zhiqiang. This accessible twelve-movement system cultivates,
rejuvenates and revitalizes, blending the primordial energy
of Heaven and Earth with the energy of life within the body.
Open to and recommended for all levels of experience, including
BREATH, SOUND & THE FIVE ELEMENTS
This class will focus on freeing the breath, while using sound to release stagnation/tightness and to help to nourish areas that are deficient – thus working to support the healing on all levels. Class will include brief didactic exploration of the five elements (a classical Chinese medicinal perspective on qi) and lots of qigong. Class will include standing, sitting and supine qigong explorations, along with breath work and vocalizations.
QIGONG POWER TRAINING FOR WINTER SPORTS
Qigong is the original core conditioning system. Winter sports –indoor & out – require core & lower body power, efficiency, and endurance in conditions that frequently challenge one’s agility, balance and alignment. This class will focus on training key elements of Chinese Qigong to improve winter sports performance, including energized relaxation, stillness within movement, and integrating the wisdom of the body with the power of the mind. Expect light-hearted intensity to significantly increase mental & physical stamina, efficient body mechanics, breathing capacity and to learn ways to accelerate recovery after athletic performance.
COILING SILK QIGONG (Chan Si Gong)Coiling Silk Qigong explores the soft spiraling movements that
are perhaps most widely associated with Chen style T’ai
Chi, but are also an important complement to Yang style T’ai
Chi. These movements will dissolve tension and stimulate the
flow of energy through the joints to increase balance, flexibility,
posture, and breathing. For recreational and competitive athletes
regardless of current condition, the practice of Coiling Silk
can increase strength, coordination, relaxation, and timing.
Open and applicable to all levels. Expect to feel relaxed,
energized, and internally balanced.
QIGONG: MOVING MEDITATIONS
Qigong Healing emphasizes the practice and cultivation of various
Qigong exercises, including movement, standing, sitting, and
breathing. Qigong translates as “internal energy work
or skill,” and refers to a broad range of internal energy
and breath practices, including the internal martial art of
T’ai Chi. This class will foster the meditative, relaxation
and healing power of Qigong. Open to all levels of experience,
BONE MARROW CLEANSING QIGONG
Bone Marrow Cleansing is a classic system of purification Qigong,
attributed to Bodhidharma. This can be practiced seated or
standing, and can provide benefits to the bones, blood, and
immune system, as well as balancing the whole body’s
physiological functions. Bone Marrow Cleansing is known to
be peaceful and soothing, while strengthening the bones, blood
and immune system and resulting in powerful rejuvenation.
HEALING SOUNDS QIGONG
Healing Sounds Qigong uses a combination of sound, breath and
movement to dispel toxins from the five primary yin organs:
lungs, kidneys, liver, heart and spleen. The basic set is easy
to learn and can be practiced lying down, seated, and standing.
The advanced set is practiced standing and includes movements
to detoxify acupuncture points and energetic meridian lines
in the body. Students find Healing Sounds fun and playful especially
when practiced in a group.
I-CHUAN STANDING MEDITATION
I-Chuan is an ancient Qigong practice for cultivating internal
energy. This class explores standing meditation through the
I-Chuan system developed by Master Wang Xian Zhai, as well
as classic Shaolin standing postures. Benefits include release
of mental and physical tension, strengthening the nervous system,
increased mental and physical stamina, and increased cultivation
of Qi. One can learn how to cultivate relaxation while maintaining
an integrated posture. Some level of constant standing meditations
is an essential element for anyone seeking significant benefit
from self-healing, or anyone seeking advanced ability in any
STANDING AND WALKING QIGONG
The touchstone of all powerful Qigong systems is Wuji standing
meditations, cultivating Qi (internal energy) by allowing the
mind and body to release into stillness. Among other benefits,
this practice will strengthen the nervous system and increase
mental and physical stamina. Walking Meditation incorporates
stillness within movement for energy cultivation, balance, and
internal calm. It integrates the whole body for health, wholeness
and athletic performance. This class will explore the Taoist
saying, "in movement there is stillness, in stillness there
is movement." For beginners this is a great introduction
for T’ai Chi Form. For continuing students this is a powerful
way to deepen one's practice and accelerate healing, athletic
and martial benefits.
MUSCLE AND TENDON TRANSFORMATION (YI JIN JING)
Yi Jin Jing moves Qi (life force energy) through the muscles,
tendons, and fascia using postures held in tension with dynamic
breathing promoting greater strength and health. In the West
we often think of muscles, tendons and fascia simply as the
source of physical power. Chinese medicine also recognizes
the relationship that muscles tendons and fascia have to “wei
Qi,” the surface protective layer of qi. By moving
qi through these soft tissues one can improve resistance to
external intrusions and improve the efficiency and power of
the muscles, tendons and fascia. Some chronic stress
related illnesses can be mitigated by improving one’s
resistance to modern external stressors and reducing their
impact on our bodies.
This class exercises the muscles more intensely than the other
Healing Qigong systems that we offer. People have described this
Qigong as wonderfully purging of the muscles, tendons and fascia. As
the intensity of this Qigong is easily self-regulated, students
with a broad spectrum of physical capability can readily enjoy
practicing together. Open to all levels, however, students with
less experience with mind/body movement are encouraged to start
with a physically gentler Qigong class.
BAGUA AND OTHER QIGONG
BAGUA ZHANG: The Power of the Circle
Bagua is the Circular Art, all movements practiced while walking
in a circle, while the arms spiral, like a Chinese dragon dancing
among the thunderclouds. We explore the “Eight Inner
Palms” and a number of “Outer Palms,” techniques
that increase the body’s reservoir of healing force. We
also explore “Walking the Circle” for flow, grace,
strength, and well-being. Students interested in the martial
arts have an opportunity to practice the self-defense applications.
Bagua is a cure for linear thinking, and physical and mental
VIGOROUS QIGONG AND BAGUA
This class is for students of Qigong or Bagua, who already have a growing understanding of effective Qigong alignments and are interested in deepening their physical, energetic, and mental integration, alignment and power. Each class will be a mix of physically/mentally demanding qigong, Bagua instruction and two person Bagua exercises. Bagua choreography will be taught primarily as a way of accessing bagua alignments to project and receive power.
Open Studio is free and available to currently enrolled students,
to be utilized for unsupervised practice and sharing. Instructors
and senior students will be available to assist on occasion,
and the FCS library and media resources are available.