Elderbridge to Offer Tai Chi

Tai Chi, Inner peace.  Energy. Balance. 

These are all components of Tai Chi.   Tai Chi is an ancient form of Chinese exercise in which participants focus their mind on slow movement.  Tai Chi proponents say that slow movement reduces stress and produces mental calm and that deep breathing and standing meditation focuses consciousness while restoring energy and physical balance. 

If this sounds interesting to you, Tai Chi instructors are now at Elderbridge.

Stephanie Carlson and Amanda Frerichs recently attending a training seminar in Bloomington, Minnesota to become instructors in Tai Chi.

“It’s really relaxing, “ said Amanda, “Normally when you think of exercise, you think the faster the better, but this is the exact opposite.  Anyone can do it.”

Carlson and Frerichs took the two day class in which they learned techniques and exercises that have been proven to help reduce the risk of arthritis in people of all ages.

“Something interesting that I learned was that arthritis is the number one disability in people over 15 and 90 percent of people over 70 have arthritis,” said Stephanie.

Tai chi integrates basic, low impact elements often performed to classic and soothing Chinese music. Its benefits have been linked to fall prevention, balance boosting, stress and pain reduction, immune system enhancement, easing depression, increasing bone density and lessening Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

“A lot of the exercises in Tai chi incorporate stepping forward and backward, and it teaches people what their boundaries are, especially if they are a fall risk,” said Amanda.

Both Stephanie and Amanda said they could feel how the Tai chi exercises are beneficial.

“Once I learned the entire program, I could tell myself that it was helping. I could feel it in muscles that you normally wouldn’t think you use.”  Stephanie said.

After two days of training both women were able to complete each set of exercises, but not without a few hiccups.

“It looks so easy when someone else is doing it,” Amanda said, “But you have to memorize the moves and it can be kind of tricky.  It’s one continuous move and if you start and stop, it looks choppy.  It’s kind of nice that it’s a little challenging so it doesn’t get boring, but the movements themselves are easy enough that anyone can do it.” 

Hour long classes will be scheduled soon in the Elderbridge area.  Classes will take place once a week with 10 to 15 participants.

If you are interested in more information about Tai chi, please feel free to give either Stephanie or Amanda a call at 1-800-243-0678.

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