I never thought I would be quoting Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead in a Tai Chi post, but I never thought I would be going on four months without being able to teach a live Tai Chi class. What a long strange trip..... Nor would I have imagined that some are advocating for not teaching live classes for an additional six months! What a long strange trip.....
Tai Chi helps benefit us in three major ways:
While in isolation I have tried to uphold all three of these benefits. #3 has been a struggle for me, and I'm feeling the struggle from all of you in my communications. To that end, I'm going to try to bring back live classes. The decision to do so was easy, the implementation was something entirely different. What a long strange trip.....
There are a lot of things to consider. Uppermost is to keep everyone safe! Tai Chi is about staying healthy, anything contrary to that is not acceptable. There is also only a small amount of data on what works to keep people safe. So I have to follow the best guidelines I can find. There are also a lot of rules and regulations to deal with. And of course there are lots of opinions, lots and lots of opinions. To come up with this plan I have followed CDC, State of Missouri and St Louis County guidelines. What a long strange trip.....
Starting on Tuesday July 7th, I ask you to join in with me on a experiment called Tai Chi in the Park. This is indeed an experiment. Things are going to be different, things are going to change. You may like and agree with some changes, you may dislike and disagree with others. But let's work together to figure this out. We are going to start by practicing outdoors since it has been shown that outdoor practice is safer (and space requirements indoors are daunting).
Remember the final decision to stay safe falls on each individual. Not only to keep oneself safe but to keep your fellow friends safe. As most of you know I run a fairly loose class, except when it comes to safety. This experiment will be no exception; safety will be my guiding factor. Unfortunately this will involve some hard non-negotiable rules. The hard rules are to keep us in line with regulations and to preserve everyone's health. The hardest of these will be class size will be limited to 10 people. This is a St Louis County Guideline and has changed the way I have to run these classes. It may take a few weeks to work out all the bugs. I ask for your patience. What a long strange trip.....
I am anticipating a big response to these classes, therefore, you cannot just show up to class. You have to preregister for class and part of that registration is to answer a health form and waiver. Rules that need to be followed:
Class size limited to 10 people
You must preregister to come to class
You must have signed the COVID-19 waiver (appears after you have booked a class)
You must not have had COVID-19
You must not have any symptoms of COVID-19
You must not have been around anyone that has had COVID-19
You must not have traveled to high risk areas recently
Temperature will be taken (contactless) before class
Class will be contactless
Social distancing must be maintained, before during and after class
Please wear a mask before and after class
You can exercise without a mask as long a social distancing is in place
I'm going to start with two classes a week. Tuesday in Faust Park at 10 AM and Thursday in Tilles County Park at 10 AM. This may change rapidly. I may be adding classes or work on grouping similar skill levels together. We also have the additional challenge of working with St Louis summer weather. It will be up to each individual to decide what are their safe limits for weather. If you cannot attend because of weather please cancel on line so someone on the waiting list can attend. Classes will happen rain or shine, but will be cancelled in cases of severe weather. Notifications will be sent via text messages (to the number you enter on the booking form) in this case.
To book you can go to my website and click the Tai Chi in the Park button at the top. Then choose the class you want to attend and follow the prompts. This link will take you directly to the page
This has been a hard economic time for a lot of us. I have been blessed with amazing students who have been help support my on line efforts. I have also had some organizations who have worked very hard to support me. I don't want finances to be a barrier for your doing Tai Chi. If you are not able to pay for classes, please come and join us and we can figure out a way to pay it forward in the future. I will also offer some contactless payment options:
Cash (you must bring exact amount, no getting change out of the basket)
Check You can drop a check in the basket or mail a check to me
12430 Tesson Ferry Road
St. Louis, MO 63128
Venmo My Venmo account is (make sure you include the dashes and "at" sign): @Craig-Miller-241
Smile A smile or kind word is a great payment into the bank of goodwill.
Thanks for all of your help with this experiment. Let's work together and we will get it right. I ask for your patience as we learn this new way of doing things. It has indeed been a long strange trip, but we will just keep on truckin' (or Tai Chi-ing).