who are we?
Embrace the Moon is a strong community of diverse individuals who study and practice the internal arts of Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qigong. We represent a balance of genders, ages and fitness levels. Some of us are here for athletic growth and development, others for health and rehabilitation, others still simply to learn something new, reduce stress, engage with a community, or enhance our spiritual cultivation. We study hard, laugh frequently, and learn about ourselves. We are here to learn in a safe, caring environment that challenges us. Welcome!
In 1994, school founder Kim Ivy met Dr. Ric Taylor of Seattle Pain Consultants at Swedish Medical Center. They quickly discovered a common mission to create something revolutionary in the Seattle health care field: the first East/West integrated complementary program at Swedish using Taijiquan and Qigong. Dr. Taylor had spent time in China and was impressed by the Taijiquan in the parks and the Qigong in the hospitals. He understood that patients could integrate these practices to reduce pain and increase function.
Kim had been teaching Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qigong for several years in Portland, Oregon, and witnessed in retirement homes how people with chronic pain were helped by these practices. For months they collected what research was available. It was a challenge to convey the benefits of these little known Eastern exercise forms to those firmly enmeshed in the strict Western medical model.
This was twenty three years ago, at the beginnings of a revolution in the overall approach to healthcare. Over the next three years, many other clinics, physicians and health care professionals contracted Kim to conduct classes, in-services, lectures and demonstrations for the purpose of educating people about the benefits of Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qigong. Kim also began to teach publicly where people of all fitness levels, ages and interests came to take classes.
Naming Embrace The Moon
Embrace The Moon School for Taijiquan and Qigong was formally founded on May 25, 1995. The name Embrace The Moon came from a group of students during a class. Someone asked about the name of the school. At that point, it had not occurred to Kim that there was a school, much less a name. Yet, there were a few dozen students who, every week, walked up several flights of rickety stairs for classes at the first studio in Capitol Hill. Someone said, “Isn’t it ‘Embrace The Moon?’" Embrace The Moon is the name of a transitional posture in some forms that Kim taught at that time, and the students heard this being called out during class. At that moment it sounded perfect, and so it has been for 23 years.
Embrace The Moon Today
Embrace the Moon School for Taijiquan and Qigong has evolved over these past two decades. Kim developed strong lineage relationships with the founding families of the Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and Qigong forms taught at the school. Through travelling to or hosting local workshops and events, Embrace the Moon actively cultivates ongoing connections with the highest quality teachers from around the world, and maintains robust educational relationships with professionals in related fields such as Taoism, Chinese Medicine and Complementary Western Medicine. Embrace The Moon has become a leader in training high quality instructors who creatively integrate their skills into their own diverse communities. Additionally, Ms. Ivy and her school actively serve the Seattle community through outreach and volunteer activities focused on health and well-being.
There are still a dozen or so of those founding members who continue to take classes at Embrace The Moon. It is with great honor that these early students followed the school from its various rental spaces and continue to be on the floor in its current dedicated home of 14 years on Market Street in Ballard. Some travel a great distance to be here every week. Each of these founding students, along with the many we have met and continue to meet along the way, help co-create our school and what we offer. Embrace The Moon School for Taijiquan and Qigong continues to evolve into a strong and vital place at once deeply founded in tradition and intentionally shaped to be accessible to all. We welcome you!