“(Joining) a tai chi class is the best thing I have ever done – my only regret is that I didn’t join 30 or more years ago, while I could have felt the health benefits in my younger years…Tai chi helps in every possible way.”
From improved flexibility and range of motion to muscle tone, balance and mind/body awareness, the roots of Taoist Tai Chi reach back generations. Enthusiasts credit the martial arts-based system with relieving stress, providing deep relaxation, balance and strength, helping with pain, and even changing their outlook on life.
A longtime competitive badminton and tennis player was suffering with severe knee challenges when she discovered Taoist Tai Chi. “(It) has given me, not only a total physical workout, without harming my knees, but also much better balance. I find the meditative slow form based on martial arts has taught me patience and mindfulness.”
1. Taoist Tai Chi: What is it?
Practiced in 26 countries around the world, Taoist Tai Chi arts include a gentle set of movements that promote well-being for people of all ages and in conditions. Master Moy Lin Shin, founder of the non-profit, volunteer-run Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism, devoted decades to cultivating body, heart and mind to make the arts accessible and beneficial to everyone regardless of physical condition. While there are many ways to participate in the training, most people begin with the physical practice of Tai Chi.
2. Are there benefits beyond wellness?
Beyond being a physical activity to enjoy together, some couples also enjoy the social aspect of Tai Chi, both at home in the Victoria Branch locations and when travelling: “It’s fun! My husband and I have gone to classes at clubs as far away as Europe. It’s so wonderful to be welcomed by fellow Tai Chi participants and feel the benefits of the familiar moves when away from home.”
3. Where can I try it out?
Learn more about the practice of Taoist Tai Chi at a West Shore Open House, from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4 at Our Lady of the Rosary Church Hall, at 798 Goldstream Ave.
Following the Open House, Beginner Classes start Jan. 11, running Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m.
Additional opportunities include:
- 2 Day Beginner Program, Saturday, Jan. 13, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with lunch) at the Victoria Branch Centre, 865 Catherine St. Call 250-383-4103 to learn more or register at taoist.org/victoria.bc
- Join classes in progress – check out the most current schedule at taoist.org/victoria.bc. In the West Shore, continuing classes run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m.
Learn more at taoist.org.