Is Tai Chi for me?

You probably have heard all the raves about how great Tai Chi can be for our health and well-being, but you may not be sure it would really suit your personality, physical abilities or interests. Here are some guidelines to help you decide.

Tai Chi might be for you:

1. If you want to work on strength and balance. Tai Chi builds strength in the lower body and helps the brain better process the work it takes to move in multiple directions at the same time (think walking forward then turning a corner). A consistent practice has been shown to reduce falls.

2. To improve your flexibility. Tai Chi’s gentle movements help release tension from the body and builds overall flexibility, particularly in the ankles, shoulders and core.

3. If you would like more peace and serenity. Tai Chi is practiced slowly with deep, full, natural breathing. This stimulates the “relaxation response” and is comforting to the mind and body.

4. If you like complex, mentally challenging things. Tai Chi is a deep, multifaceted art that develops the body, mind and spirit. It is a practice you can continue to develop indefinitely.

Tai Chi might not be for you:

1. If you prefer a fast paced exercise program. You might find the slowness of Tai Chi to be boring rather than relaxing.

2. If you’d rather work out solo. Lifting weights and running or other cardio might be a better fit. However, private lessons are an option!

3. If you are recovering from surgery, illness or your balance is seriously compromised. Some time with a personal trainer or physical therapist would be the first place to start. After you have regained your strength, Tai Chi could be a real benefit. Check with your doctor.

4. You have difficulty with your memory and you are impatient. While Tai Chi is actually good for keeping our memory strong, it does require you to memorize and perform a series of movements. Some people may become frustrated in the beginning.

Six classes a week are held at the HOA One Fitness Center. The cost is $11 per class or six classes for $54 if you buy the tickets.

Beginning class: Wednesday 1:00 -2:00; Fridays 2:30-3:30; Sundays 10:00-11:00.

Intermediate: Thursdays 11:00-12:00 (New in January!); Saturdays 12:30-1:30

Advanced: Saturdays 11:00-12:30

Your instructors, Ken and Carol Emerson, are certified black belts who have been practicing martial arts for over 30 years. For more information or to register, contact Carol or Ken Emerson at 825-9206.