Tai Chi for mindfulness and more

Carol Emerson

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. In a 2012 article written by Daphne Davis, PhD and Jeffery Hayes PhD for the American Psychological Association, some of the documented benefits of a mindfulness practice include: reduced stress, improved memory, more cognitive flexibility, reduced fear and less emotional reactivity. Interestingly these same benefits are associated with Tai Chi.

The practice of Tai Chi is an excellent way to cultivate mindfulness. When we do Tai Chi we relax the body and focus the mind on each and every movement while allowing the breath to flow smoothly in and out. In a sense Tai Chi is mindfulness meditation in motion. In addition a consistent Tai Chi practice has been shown to help a variety of medical conditions. Balance, strength and flexibility improve, blood pressure drops and the pain of arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia can be mitigated. One of our students with Parkinson’s disease has shown a profound improvement in balance, posture, concentration and memory.

Our School

Black belts Ken and Carol Emerson, offer four Tai Chi classes a week in SaddleBrooke through Ching Yi Kung Fu, Tucson, an affiliate group of the national organization – The Ching Yi Kung Fu Association (www.chingyikungfu.com). The CYKFA was founded by Master Her Yue Wong in 1972 with the motto of “Kung Fu for Health and Peace of Mind.” Class fees are $11 per class or six classes for $54 when you buy the tickets.

Classes at SaddleBrooke HOA 1 Fitness Center: Beginning on Fridays, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Intermediate on Saturdays, noon to 1:00 p.m. and Advanced on Saturdays, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Classes at SaddleBrooke HOA 2 Fitness Room near Mesquite Grille will be a Beginning class on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For More Advanced Studies

In order to provide time for our senior students to learn more about the history, philosophy and inner practices of Tai Chi, we are starting a special study group, The Silver Dragons, in 2015. There is no charge for this group but you must have achieved belt ranking in our system to be eligible. We offer the chance to test for rank twice each year. While not mandatory, many students find this traditional practice to be fulfilling and a great way to mark their progress.

To register, call 825-9206. Private lessons are available by appointment.