The Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville will be hosting free Tai Chi demonstrations and workshops in Dragon Park (aka Fanny Mae Dees Park at Blakemore & 24th) on Saturday from 10am til noon. The ancient practice of Tai Chi may look strange to many, but various studies have shown the art can provide many health benefits for people of all ages. Some of these benefits include:
• Reduced pain in arthritis sufferers
• Lower blood pressure
• Better balance and reduced falls
• Improved muscle tone
• Reduced stress and improved sense of well being
• Increased energy
• Greater mental clarity
I have personally been practicing Tai Chi for nearly two years now, and have seen great improvement in my focus, mood, balance, and even reflexes. It takes a great deal of patience and perseverance to learn, but it is very rewarding if you can get past the awkward beginning phase.
Locally, the Smyrna YMCA offers three Tai Chi classes a week taught by a guy named Steve, who’s last name I am blanking on right now, but he’s a great instructor. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7am he teaches a form created by the Arthritis Foundation, which is geared toward arthritis sufferers, but is great for anyone. On Friday afternoons at 4pm he covers a more physically challenging, martial form which is more like doing really slow Kung Fu (which I think is freaking AWESOME). He will also hold a special class at the Y at 4pm Saturday in observance of World Tai Chi Day, so if you’re a member come check it out. It may be even held out on the lawn if the weather is nice.
You can also find more Arthritis Foundation classes taught all over Middle TN here: www.arthritis.org/chapters/tennessee/programs.php or call the local Arthritis Foundation office at (615)254-6795.