Tai-Chi = balance, strength and flexibility

Carol Emerson

Do you want to continue to live an active, healthy and independent life? Me too – that’s why I practice Tai Chi. First let’s look at the physical benefits. The slow, flowing movements gently coax our bodies to stretch and reach and increase our range of motion. The bent knee posture from which we do Tai Chi builds strength in the legs and hips and the way we step gently flexes the feet and ankles so they can serve as shock absorbers to help prevent falling.

Tai Chi also helps keep us young and strong emotionally and mentally. The Tai Chi form consists of 17 (for beginning students) – 108 (for advanced students) movements practiced in a series. So, we have to learn and remember the sequence and the movements themselves. While sometimes challenging, this keeps those neural pathways open and flexible. It is fun to learn new things and be with new people – and these things have been shown to be important to long term happiness.

Speaking of flexibility, as we age we tend to be a little more reactive to events and circumstances than when we used to be. We can become irritable, anxious and depressed. It seems we lose the ability to go with the flow. Tai Chi can create an inner state of relaxation and calm just as a meditation practice can do. Deep, relaxed breathing underlies the physical form and as we practice, we move our awareness inward to a place of peace and wellbeing.

Try a class and see what you think. Each class is only $10. Location is the HOA 1 Fitness Center.

Here is the schedule.

Beginning class Sundays 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Intermediate class Saturdays 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Advanced class Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Your instructors Ken and Carol Emerson have been students of martial arts for over 30 years. Both are black belts, certified by the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association – an international organization dedicated to the practice of Kung Fu for health and peace of mind.

For more information, or to register, please call 825-9206.