Tai Chi classes

Carol Emerson

Many of us find that while we used to run, do yoga and play sports, our bodies just can’t take that kind of physical stress anymore. Tai Chi provides a great alternative. Although it is slow and gentle and doesn’t leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning.

Tai chi is recommended for people of all ages, but especially for people who want to be physically active in a less-strenuous way. The gentle, circular movements increase flexibility and range of motion, and the slow, flowing nature of the art generates a feeling of peace and well-being. Other benefits noted in studies include increased strength (particularly lower body strength which is important in fall prevention), helping to reduce stress, improvements in blood pressure, reduction in blood sugar and increased feeling of well-being. Of course, these come from a consistent practice, which is generally thought of as three hours per week. That would mean one hour in class, plus 17 minutes a day of practice.

Classes are held each week at the HOA1 fitness center. The cost is $10 per class. Please pay at the class (no tickets involved). Beginning classes are Sunday from 10:00-11:00 a.m.; intermediate classes are Saturday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and advanced classes are Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information or to register, call Carol or Ken Emerson at 825-9206.

Your instructors, Carol and Ken Emerson, have been teaching Tai Chi in Saddlebrooke for 10 years and have been studying martial arts for over 30 years. They are members of the Ching Yi Kung Fu Association, which traces its lineage back to Yang, Cheng-Fu and Yang, Lu-Chan – the founders of the Yang school of Tai Chi.