New Sunday Tai Chi class starts September 6

Carol Emerson

We have had so many requests for a beginning Tai Chi class on the weekend, and beginning Sunday, September 6, we will offer one! The new class will be from 10:00-11:00 on Sunday mornings. It is just the perfect time for Tai Chi, so we hope this will work for people who work or just want a morning class.

Another change this fall is that all Tai Chi classes will now be held at SaddleBrooke One in the fitness center exercise room.

Health and Social Benefits

Tai Chi gives us options for moving, stretching and strengthening the body that are not strenuous. It engages the entire body with gentle, flowing movements. A consistent Tai Chi practice improves muscular strength, balance and postural control. Studies show that older adults who practice Tai Chi are half as likely to fall as people of similar age who do not exercise.

Tai Chi also helps reduce tension and pain. Most people carry tension in their bodies—without even being aware of it. Tension causes pain. Working at the computer is particularly hard on the upper shoulders and neck. The deep, relaxed breathing, slow, gentle movements and meditative nature of Tai Chi work together to help relieve pain. Recent studies indicate that Tai Chi benefits people suffering from depression, arthritis, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s; it also helps maintain brain plasticity (memory, cognition, mind/body coordination).

In addition, Tai Chi builds confidence and social connection. It is a challenge to learn the sequence of moves, but it is fun to learn in a group and to encourage each other. One thing that has been really great both for social connection and achievement is that many of our students are participating in our formal “ranking” program. While this is totally optional, the belt ranking provides a way to mark your progress and receive recognition for your accomplishments. When Ken and I first started practicing Tai Chi years ago, we weren’t all that interested in the belt “thing.” But as time went by and we learned more it did become important to us, and we are both very proud to have achieved the rank of Black Belt. You can do it too.

Beginning classes: Friday 2:30-3:30 p.m.; Sunday 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Intermediate Class: Saturday 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Advanced Class: Saturday 11:00 a.m.-12:30 pm

Location: SaddleBrooke One Fitness Center

Cost: Classes are $11 per class or six classes for $54 if you buy the tickets. To register, call Carol or Ken at 825-9206.