Tag Archives: tai chi

Tai Chi Life 2021/2022

Tai Chi Life 2021/2022

The last practice of 2021 in my secret place. It has been another strange covid year with plenty of Tai Chi to keep me sane, but no Tuczno, nor Zlatý Kopec, nor International push hands meetings in Prague.

Let’s hope 2022 will be kinder to all of us.

Zofia Polak Tai Chi
Shapes of Balance
Thomas Nowakowski
Tai Chi System

There is hope though, although January, one can smell springtime in the air 🌞🍀

#ThomasNowakowski #ShapesofBalance #TaiChi #London

Father Form

Father Form

Regular practice is one of the fundamental rules of any progress.

If you don’t push yourself to follow daily routine, you will get big chance to have your life full of stagnation and bad habits controlling you.

My first Tai Chi class happened somewhere in September of 1995. At this time, I exercised typical physical basics with around 500 sit-ups daily as the main part.

Still having this background, it took me a few good years to start practising Tai Chi on daily basis.


I’m actually not sure why.

At the beginning I was more fascinated with Taoist philosophy and maybe that was the reason.

Though when I think about that more carefully it looks like it was good excuse to run away from the true change.

Because Tai Chi practice as all of the great systems changes you deeply inside. You become new person. And this is very scary thing. Most of us is unconsciously petrified of this change.

We stick to what we know even if that’s destroying our life.


Thanks God I hit the bottom. My personal life became one big mess and I didn’t want any more to make the same mistakes again and again and again.

So the first was the decision.

Then reality.  Looking for excuses, laziness, escapes.

In the background doing those 500 sit ups without any problem.

I didn’t give up though.

On each occasion when I missed the practice I just came back to it as soon as I was able.

And so on and so on…until I got myself to this place where it is as normal to me as daily teeth cleaning for most of you.

I’m today different person. The internal frantic spasm went away. I lived in 3 different countries, learned 3 new languages and got the control of myself.

The monkey in my head, horse in the heart and pig in my stomach don’t get crazy that easy 😉


All of it thanks to Father Form which is the core and base of my daily routine.

This Form is also regular beginning of out classes and workshops.








First part of the class helps to relax the tension in your body, clam your down and improve joints flexibility.

To achieve that we use so called “Father Form” which comes from San Feng Style – unique family style from Canton brought to Europe by Dr Ming Wong and taught by a few of his students. As per our knowledge Thomas Nowakowski is the only one teaching this style in UK.

“Father Form” takes around 45 minutes and goes through all of the joints starting from feet then moving step by step to upper parts.

We practice whole form in silence, concentrating on movement and breathing.

The movements are not difficult but can be challenging if it’s going about the balance or flexibility. Those challenges are quickly dissolving with regular practice. With every repeat you will feel the improvement of your external and internal stability.

Similar to a lot of Tai Chi exercises this form works also with concentration’s ability and capability of brain hemispheres’ communication.

Students stay facing the teacher and repeat his movement not like in the mirror’s reflection but in the same direction/side like teacher’s. For example: when the teacher moves right hand in the right direction, the students should do the same. This type of exercises develops neural connections and speedup the timing of reactions not only in a study room but in your daily life. You can be faster and more accurate with the decisions you need to take, your reaction to the stress situations will be controlled better.

Very interesting aspect of practicing “Father Form” is observing how much the body work influences our mental stability and vice versa. Improving your flexibility of joints will have positive impact on the way you process information. Your overall vision will be broader and more detailed which is useful in every possible life situation. From little things of no big consequences up to life’s changing decisions, clear vision and flexibility of thinking is most wanted asset.

If you want to improve your life balance or you suffer from some kind of health restrictions this exercise will help greatly.

Many students of Thomas Nowakowski practise “Father Form” on daily basis. They incorporated it in between their busy lives, work, families and all other activities because it is so rewarding.

The tension and blocks are staying with us when not dissolved and relaxed. They go deep inside into the muscles, joints and singular cells building the layers of stiffness, collecting psychosomatic “dirt”.

You can compare practicing “Father Form” to your daily shower or teeth brushing. It has the same cleansing effect except it goes much further. It purifies your whole body and mind. Makes you healthier, happier and calmer in this crazy world.


…and then you can easily go for push hands in Prague 🙂

Zofia Polak





For the end of summer we organize big event in Prague.

It happened 12-14 September and took a lot of energy to put it right together. I hope all of people and teachers enjoyed being there though.

I am preparing the series of videos from there but I will show you here just one with a overall view.

By the way in few days my stand goes to Stockholm for conference and I will be back with the photos and renderings!

Busy life 😉

My Tai Chi – Part 2 – The very beggining

My Tai Chi – Part 2 – The very beggining

Today because of Thomas Nowakowski and his Tai Chi School I practice every day which is itself priceless tool to combat trough life difficulties, speak more or less fluently 4 languages, co-organize international Push Hands meetings and all of it when being fully employed designer.

The way to achieve such a efficiency though began long time ago.

Cracow 1995It was 1995 when I first time went to see what it is this Tai Chi.

Poland was at the time particular place. Just a few years after we had back our independence from Soviet Union where old ways were falling apart  and NEW was  coming suddenly, changing everything around.

Parts of the country were still in bed shape. Even some places in my favorite and beautiful Cracow looked like from horror movie.

Almost nobody there knew anything about this strange Chinese Tai Chi Stuff.

Thomas was one of the first and crazy enough to dedicate his life for such a creation 😉 If you want to meet him, here is the link to his Facebook page : Thomas Nowakowski

It was even more miraculous as Częstochowa – the town I’m coming from is known in Poland as “Holy City” which means highly Catholic attitude. Though all of those obstacles Ryszard Prokop, one of Thomas instructors has been holding the class there and thanks to him I could study.

So I have started. It went along with my architectural job and studding philosophy at the same time.

At the beginning the most difficult part was to get balance, concentrate and start daily practicing routine.

It takes most of us a lot of effort to break old negative habits.

But if you are dedicated enough it can change your life.

I mean… for better ‘-)

The same as Cracow did: 

Cracow 2014






to be continued ….

My Tai Chi – 1st post

My Tai Chi – 1st post

This part of me is growing for a long time as I have started to practice almost 20 years ago.

I feel like sharing a bit of it with you. This 20 years with Tai Chi is almost half of my life and I would like to tell you about how much of important influence it has been to me.

Step by step I will try to put the story together. On the very beginning something to make you smile – me taking photos at our 1st push-hands.cz meeting in Prague in 2012

push hands Prague

Photo by Nils Klug of push-hands.de