Ai Chi

I’m so lucky to have Ai Chi in my life.

Ai Chi entered my life at a perfect time.  I’ve always been busy “moving” and couldn’t take time for stillness.  Had Ai Chi been a “stillness” program I wouldn’t have become involved with it.  I learned Ai Chi from Mr. Jun Konno, the originator, and worked hard using the program as a physical (more “moving”!) way to relaxation.

As Ai Chi worked its wonders and taught me to relax I realized I was getting more from each session rather than less as I did in my fitness programs.  If I ran a mile each day my body would adapt and I would gradually get fewer and fewer benefits from that workout.  The opposite proved true with Ai Chi.  Instead of getting fewer relaxation benefits as my body adapted to Ai Chi, I got more!  I started to notice the way my body was moving, my breathing technique, my mind wandering, and I found books to read about what was happening.

There are times now when I realize that my body is doing one thing, my mind is somewhere else, and my spirit is stuck on a challenge I encountered years ago.  As I try to bring my being together I find I’m more focused, happier, and my “moving” workouts are more effective.  There’s something happening that I don’t understand but I’m enjoying the learning process so much that I want to share it with you – my family and friends.  Ruth

Ai Chi Classes

If you want to take a class, here’s a list of Ai Chi Basic Practitioners (English speaking) –

If you want to learn to teach Ai Chi here’s a list of Ai Chi Trainers (English speaking) –

If you’re interested in becoming Ai Chi Certified come to an Ai Chi Certification (English speaking) with one of the Ai Chi Master Trainers:

Ruth Sova, ruthsova@ruthsova.com

ABOUT AI CHI’S ORIGINATOR

Mr. Konno, a Japanese authority on aquatic fitness and swimming, is president and founder of Aqua Dynamics Institute, a consulting firm for fitness clubs, therapy clinics and swimming schools in Japan.  He graduated from the Economics Department of Tohoku Gakuin University, coached the Philippine Swimming Federation’s National Junior Team, and taught in the Physical Education Department of University of the Philippine.  He received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Philippine Olympic Committee in 1973.  Konno served as the youngest-ever director of the Japan Swimming Clubs Association, became one of Japan’s foremost swimming coaches and coached Japan’s Olympic swimming team.  He is an advisor of the Aquatic Exercise Association and offers the AEA certification in Japan.  Konno serves as a consultant and lecturer.  Interviews with him appear regularly in magazines, newspapers, and on television.  He has many published writings including the books Swimming Concepts (which is virtually required reading for all Japanese swimming coaches the Japanese), Aqua-fit, Ai Chi – Flowing Aquatic Energy and Ai Chi – Balance, Harmony and Healing.

One of the things that will become apparent to anyone who teaches or observes an Ai Chi class is that, no matter the shape, size gender, age, or gait deviation of an individual on land, everyone looks astonishingly beautiful and graceful performing Ai Chi. Many of my class participants were quite skeptical when I told them this, especially those who were moving through the world feeling trapped in their bodies and, had never, ever felt graceful or considered themselves beautiful.

I decided that the best way to prove to them that I was not merely trying to put them at ease was to ask a few participants at a time to step up on deck to observe the rest of the class as they flowed through Ai Chi. What they saw has made them believers, allowing for deeper relaxation during Ai Chi. They carry this sense of tranquility and gracefulness with them as they move through the rest of their lives. They lose that sense of entrapment and thus become aware that they have the power to take command of physical and spiritual changes in their lives.

Barbara Plunket

B.S., PTA

Teaching Ai Chi is quite delightful.  It is the calmness I treasure with each day.  My patients call it “delicious time”.  It is worth savoring.

Donna J. Mooneyham

MAEd, TRS/CTRS, Aquatic Therapy Coordinator, Regional Rehab Center, Greenville, North Carolina

My personal experiences with Ai Chi so far have been exceptional. I currently do Ai Chi on my own every morning (5:45 – 7 am) and have learned to bring myself into a physically relaxed / mentally alert state of mind.

This is great for the rest of my workday.  Also, I’ve learned to literally breathe on command and it definitely helps when I need to clear my mind and focus on a task at hand.  Once again thanks for sharing the knowledge you’ve gained with the rest of us.

Rob Hendry

Last year at the Aquatic Therapy Symposium in Chicago, I was fortunate to experience my first taste of Ai Chi. From the very moment the session began, I knew that it was going to be a wonderful experience that I would share with others, and share I did, as I returned to work at a neurological rehabilitation center.

In the warm water setting that is ideal for this mode of exercise, I was able to help create a sense of calmness and body awareness that some of my clients had never experienced.  By modifying positions and assisting with movements where needed, a positive energy was surrounding all, and most importantly carrying over into their daily lives.

I started slowly introducing Ai Chi to a variety of clients.  I used it first with a cerebral palsy client who is, for the most part, confined to a wheel chair.  A client with Parkinson’s, and a young woman who is recovering from a stroke were next.  Although I had a particular motive in mind for each, I felt that all could benefit from the totality of the experience.  Fortunately for me, they were all willing participants.  What positive results!

After the first session, I no longer had to explain the program or convince them to give it a try.  They were soon asking me, “When could we do that again?”  I saw first hand these individuals enjoying movements not possible to them on land.  It was as if their bodies were dancing in air.  The freedom of movement they were feeling was a very positive and uplifting experience.  The kinesthetic awareness was very evident to me from the beginning.  Being able to relax and focus on breathing was another visible sign of the benefits of the program.  And more than anything else, I could see depression diminishing, a more positive attitude, and sense of well being.  It was a time of release for them, followed by renewal.

I also introduced the program to a group of students grades K -8 who attend a school affiliated with our center.  My motive was to increase attention span.   It is a slow process, but I began with a 3-minute session and have been able to increase to ten minutes of quiet and stillness!

If I weren’t a believer after I experienced Ai Chi myself, which I truly was, I would certainly have been a believer after using it with my clients.  To me, it is hard to find the words to tell anyone how wonderful and exciting I feel this program is.  Open your minds, free your soul, and let Ai Chi do its work.  Once you try it, I know you too will become a BELIEVER.

Connie Walker

Aquatic Consultant, Special Needs Population, Miami County YMCA, Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development