From my Sifu

Tai Chi Chuan is the essence of the unity of movement and stillness, remaining with a certain evenness in the flow of life—not just not a series of slow movements to focus on relaxation. Like a stream, overcoming obstacles, passing through elements, continuing forward—this is Tai Chi.

Sifu Toni has been studying with me for more than 20+ years, and it is my observation that she has engaged in these qualities; she has integrated the inner and outer aspects of Tai Chi into her way of being. Her practice of Tai Chi has enhanced her flow in life.

This isn’t necessarily common. In teaching Tai Chi over the decades, I have observed many people do the outer Tai Chi, but not many people are able to embrace the essence of Tai Chi internally.

It has been my reward as a teacher to have someone like Sifu Toni who deeply engages in the art of change.

If you want to practice Tai Chi, there are many places that one can seek out, but if you want to study Tai Chi and its transformative process, I recommend that you study with Sifu Toni. When you study with Sifu Toni, my wish is that you may find that avenue of transformation for yourself.

Master Sifu Jerry Gardner and Sifu Toni

Chi and Me

I have been studying Tai Chi and Qigong since the fall of 1997, with Master Sifu Jerry Gardner. He was the co-owner of Red Lotus School of Movement, in Salt Lake City, Utah. In January of 2009, I earned the title, and I am now recognized as Sifu Toni. Sifu (pronounced see-fu) meaning teacher. When I accepted becoming a Sifu, I promised to share and teach Tai Chi and Qigong for the rest of my life. (Yes, I love it that much!)

I am currently a staff member at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, where I teach both modalities to patients, caregivers and staff. Where they learn the joy of letting go and being in the present moment (where there is no stress), which can be healing in and of itself.

I teach a weekly Qigong class at Mountain Yoga Sandy, and throughout the year I lead community Qigong events and 6-week Tai Chi series.

I also love being hired by employers as part of their company retreat, or a break during the week for their employees and themselves.

I find that both of these practices are meant for each of us to have our own direct experience, of slowing down, breathing, and being present. You can read all about the benefits of these art forms on the internet, but there is no comparison, to when one actually does it, and begins to feel the benefits for themselves.

From experience, I know…

  • Being present is the best gift you can give yourself and those around you.
  • Change is a constant, therefore embrace each moment as it arises.
  • We are human beings not human doings.
  • Laughter and dancing raise my vibration whether it’s at a live concert or simply cleaning the house.
  • ANY resistance in my life—is my own.
  • Self-care is a priority not a luxury.
  • Slowing down to feel and not force, allows my chi to flow effortlessly.
  • My daughter is one of my greatest teachers. She is a reflection, allowing me to see myself from another perspective.
  • At times, saying “no” to others is saying “yes” to myself!
  • Nature is a true example of chi flowing. Connecting with nature allows me to be more compassionate with myself and others. I do my best to get outside every day—even it’s only in my back yard to observe the clouds.

And my personal mantra: Simply BE = Breathe & Expand

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