Tai Chi on the Beach
Every Wednesday, starting in May, join others on the beach in the Bay who are practicing this ancient form of movement - novices welcome!
- story by Christina Richardson
As soon as she got settled in she began offering Tai Chi classes. First on Highway 90 then at Tree House Yoga and now at the Pass Christian Library (winter months) and at the end of Washington Street, at 5:30pm on Wednesdays beginning in May.
“For me Tai Chi is my way to keep connection with my community and to help people manage and reduce stress”, Lael said. “There are usually 7-10 at practice, both men and women. I teach Yang style which is a 24 form of 24 named positions that are moved through in order. Tai Chi is about breathing, balance and moving.”
There are many health benefits to Tai Chi. Before detailing them, here are two short videos demonstrating the 24 forms.
Tai Chi is a form of Qigong. Qigong is an art that involves body and mind. Qi is vital energy, the breath of life or simply the air. Gong is the practice of nurturing Qi through movement and breathing exercises.
One well known form of Qigong is Kung Fu. Both Tai Chi and Kung Fu come from Taoist philosophy and both are used for self-defense or simply for development of spiritual and physical growth. Tai Chi involves slow, graceful movements that mimic the flow of energy through the body, while Kung Fu is quick and sharp.
Evidence suggests that Tai Chi not only reduces stress through the focus on movement and breathing. The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health finds improvement in balance and stability, help in reducing chronic pain, range of motion, improving mood, and overall feelings of well-being.
Tai Chi is practiced just about everywhere. In 1999, World Tai Chi Day began in Kansas City. Now there are events in hundreds of cities in 80 + countries.
At this time of year Lael is holding practice at the Pass Christian Library every other Wednesday. Call them for her schedule. Or… come join us the first Wednesday in May at the beach at the end of Washington Street. There is no charge.
This video of Tai Chi Day in New York City is a good introduction to World Tai Chi Day. Bay St. Louis? Last Saturday in April every year!