testimonials

Profiles Private Yoga Instructor Santa Monica Los Angeles Movement Profile Leia Cohen Tai Chi

Published on August 3rd, 2022 | by Catherine Tingey

0

Movement Profile Leia Cohen Tai Chi

Movement Profile Leia Cohen Tai Chi

For over a decade I’ve been casually looking for an in person Tai Chi teacher, but found no one I connected with. Early 2020 I was poking around YouTube and found Leia Cohen of Taiflow. It was obvious from watching her that she has a highly trained movement background.

Private Yoga Instructor Santa Monica Los Angeles Movement Profile Leia Cohen Tai ChiWhen I discovered Leia, she was teaching something basic like Cloud Hands, but instead of emphasizing technically precise movements, she emphasized feeling.

I instantly felt this was a teacher whose style I resonated with.

When I teach yoga to complete beginners, I start them off with just movement and breath. For most people, unless they have some mindfulness background, this is a new experience. Teaching sensation versus mechanics keeps the introduction to the practice fun, and out of the mind’s need to memorize, catalog and analyze.

I realized that many of the Tai Chi videos I’d come across prior felt mechanistic. I just couldn’t find my way into the practice.

Leia was approachable, fun, conversational and light hearted. I instantly felt like we could be friends.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’m still doing Leia’s videos. I recently completed participation in a study she organized researching Tai Chi for long Covid. I was part of the control group and we did Tai Chi daily for 20-40 min for 30 days.

I want to introduce Tai Chi to a larger audience so I asked Leia to talk about herself and Tai Chi here.

MOVEMENT PROFILE – Leia Cohen Tai Chi

Where are you from originally and how many years have you been practicing Tai Chi?

I am Leia Cohen and I was born in Montreal Canada. I left home in 1987 when I was 17 years old to move to Israel and join the Israeli army. That was the beginning of a long journey around the world. I discovered Tai Chi when I moved to Panama in 2006. My  husband at the time joined a gym for a month and found a teacher who also only taught at this gym for one month. It was like the universe wanted us to meet. I immediately wanted to join the class. I loved it the first day I started.  We learned from him in his private practice. We loved it so much, after four years we took a journey to the Wudang mountains of China. We wanted to get closer to the source and deepen our practice and understanding of Tai Chi and expose the kids to a higher level of Kung Fu.

How did you discover Tai Chi and what are the biggest gifts the practice has given you?

I have been practicing Tai Chi daily for 16 years and it has transformed my life. I feel more physically, emotionally and spiritually balanced. It has given me the gift of compassion for myself and compassion for all other humans. It has given me courage to live my most authentic life and a deep resilience to change and upheaval which is where our world is at during this generations time on earth.

To someone who had never heard of Tai Chi – what is Tai Chi to you?

The art of tai chi can have many meanings for different people. For some it is all about the power of the internal energy and harnessing that power, called the Qi (Chi) to use this life force in fighting applications. Others practice Tai Chi for health and longevity. A daily practice allows them to age gracefully and prevent illness. Then there are those who may enjoy the beauty of the movements.

I love to move in the beautiful ways of Tai Chi. I play with the energy that surrounds me and I mix it with the energy within me. It gives me emotional, physical, and mental balance to be the best version of me.

It is a means to connect with a greater spiritual community, with a higher energy that is within. It isn’t important that Tai Chi for you isn’t the same as it is for another; what you get out of your daily practice is your own treasure and that is all that matters. That is the beauty of Tai Chi.

Private Yoga Instructor Santa Monica Los Angeles Movement Profile Leia Cohen Tai ChiDo you have a teaching philosophy and how do you approach teaching beginners?

I have always been a teacher. I believe I know how to break down even the hardest movements so that people can understand them. I know in the beginning people won’t be able to execute the movements correctly and I tell them it doesn’t matter. First build up your muscle memory and then we can correct when necessary. This relieves the pressure to be perfect. I believe that it is important to practice every day even for a short time. This is where you build your habit and get the best results.

What do you think makes a great teacher (of anything)?

To be a great teacher you must first take responsibility for your student’s mistakes. If they didn’t do it correctly then you need to think creatively and teach it differently so they can succeed.

Any dreams for Taiflow? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? Living where? Still running Taiflow? Anything else?

My dream is to one day own a Tai Chi house. I will leave the downstairs as an open studio to practice and use the kitchen to make healthy meals for my guests. I would have a big tent outside for practice too. Then the people who follow me around the world can come and practice with me. If I don’t have enough room in the house then there would be places to stay nearby. I would also want to have an organic garden for the food we cook in the kitchen although in my dream someone else takes care of it because I want to focus on practicing Tai Chi and cooking healthy meals. I am happy to collect the vegetables from the garden, of course.

I have recently completed a memoir called ‘Driven by Courage’ but I have decided to transform it into a course where people can read my experiences and be inspired to live their most authentic selves and go after their dreams. I hope that by sharing my story this will help people find the courage to follow their passions.

Where can people find more of your videos?

I have a Youtube channel called Taiflow where you can find the series Tai Chi 5 Minutes a day. This is a great entry level Tai Chi program to kick start your Tai Chi journey.

Then there are three memberships on my website www.taiflow.com. Silver, Gold and Platinum. The Silver is a continuation of the YouTube video collection with a library of videos to follow of varying lengths.

The Gold and Platinum memberships are for people who want to learn the traditional style of Tai Chi. The Tai Chi that I learned while I trained in China. It is more rigorous and requires discipline and a daily practice.

Leia Cohen, Taiflow

Website: https://www.taiflow.com/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Taiflow

Curious about other people I’ve profiled – musicians, herbalists, energy healers? Click here.

(Visited 141 times, 1 visits today)

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher. She has been practicing yoga for 30 years.


About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher. She has been practicing yoga for 30 years.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑