Article: Word June 2007 ________________________________________________________
Tai Chi – it’s very old but it’s new for baby boomers
It’s the Canberra baby boomers exercise of choice – but it
has its roots in 11th Century China.
Although it’s a long way from the stone courtyards of the Taoist temples of 11th century China to the floorboards of the church halls in Canberra, that’s the connection with Taoist Tai Chi.
Taoist Tai Chi as it is practiced by hundreds of Canberrans today had its beginnings when a Taoist sage Li Tao-tzu collected a series of 37 movements designed to enhance health and longevity in the 11th Century.
The movements were developed, expanded and applied through to the nineteenth century then out of the monasteries and into the public domain in the twentieth century.
Master Moy Lin-shin, a Taoist monk, inherited this Taoist monastic tradition and developed Taoist Tai Chi in the 1970’s. He took it to North America and then to Australia (and Canberra) in the 1990s.
Today hundreds of Canberrans join in the ancient exercise tradition at a dozen school halls, church halls and community centres across Canberra.
The Canberra branch of the international Taoist Tai Chi Society is a voluntary organisation – part of the international network of 500 locations in 25 countries.
Taoist Tai Chi is designed fundamentally to promote and restore health. This purpose distinguishes Taoist Tai Chi from other forms of Tai Chi – and explains why it’s popular with baby boomers.
The slow, graceful movements of Taoist Tai Chi increase strength and flexibility and improve balance and circulation. The Taoist style of Tai Chi emphasises greater stretching and turning in each of the movements in order to gain these and other benefits more effectively.
The unique health benefits from Taoist Tai Chi stem from the fact that it is a complete and integrated exercise that works all of the body’s systems deeply yet gently.
From an Eastern perspective, Taoist Tai Chi promotes good health by enhancing the circulation of ‘chi’ or intrinsic energy in the body.
The 108 movements of the Taoist Tai Chi set are designed to open up blockages along the meridians (the energy pathways) to allow energy to flow freely through key areas of the body.
And Canberrans obviously believe it – and every year, sign up for the ACT Taoist Tai Chi Society’s beginners classes.
The classes are held at Ainslie, Gungahlin, Hackett, Charnwood, Ngunnawal, Braddon, Pearce Kingston, Charnwood, Ainslie and Tuggeranong.
And according to the President of the ACT Branch of the Australian Taoist Tai Chi Society President, Cherryl Fuller, that’s just how it should be.
“We know that that Canberrans are more interested in learning something new like Tai Chi as close to home as possible so that’s why we’ve established the beginners classes right across Canberra – rather than locating them centrally.
New classes start in July in Canberra’s suburbs. Inquiries to 6249 6117 or at www.taoist.org.au. Email: email@example.com
Inquiries, questions: Thomas Parkes
02 6251 2026 (home)
02 6274 7305 (work)
0423 276 830 (mobile)