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Tai Chi Classes Jan 24

The HFM Wellness Center is offering a Tai Chi class for both members and nonmembers starting January 24. The class meets every Tuesday, through March 6, with no class on February 7.

Tai Chi is an ancient art of healing, relaxation and self-defense for all ages and physical abilities. The gentle, natural fluid movements help reduce stress/pain, build balance to prevent falls, ward off illness and slow aging. The slow, gentle movements build a hidden inner strength to give one the “strength of a lumberjack and the flexibility of a child.” Tai Chi is the fastest growing exercise in the world today; practiced by very young children to those over age 100.

Wellness Center Tai Chi instructor Jerry Galas has practiced various Tai Chi forms and Qigong for 15 years and was a student of Beijing international chen-style champion and university professor Master Yang from the Chen village in China.

The Yang short form is the most universally practiced in the west and perhaps the easiest to learn. Learning this form can help one learn other, more complex, forms easier. Galas stresses that the form is but a “vehicle” to discover one’s own “Chi energy.” It is also spelled “qi” in China, “ki” in Japan and “prana” in India.

This “life energy” is the primary energy upon which Chinese medicine is based. Once “tasted,” personal chi can be strengthened, stored and directed within one’s body for a variety of uses—increase circulation, reduce pain, remove blockages, maintain physical and mental balance and, as a “moving meditation,” quiet the mind. When necessary, Tai-Chi energy can be directed for self-defense.

The Wellness Center Tai Chi class will be offered at two different times: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or 7 to 8 p.m. Cost is $40 for Wellness Center members or $50 for nonmembers. To register or for details, call 320.4600 or stop at the Wellness Center front desk.