Much to our good fortune, the Province of New Brunswick has provided a grant through the Wellness Branch of the Department to the Port Elgin and Region Health Centre (PERHC) for an introduction to Tai Chi. Rod Morris and Rick Toupin from the Cumberland group Canadian Tai Chi Academy are providing a complimentary, 12-week introduction to the health benefits of Tai Chi.
I was so excited to have a Tai Chi class locally, and by that I mean really locally, not having to drive to Amherst or Sackville, our nearest towns for most services, I called all my friends who might be interested and happily posted it in the church bulletin! The class has been full and then some in our little school gym, where you last saw my Remembrance Day post. We started a week later than planned, on Monday February 15, 2016 due to a snow storm (hardly surprising for February in the Canadian Maritimes and will run 12 weeks, excluding March Break and Easter Monday) at 7:30 pm on Mondays.
After our first Tai Chi class, I noticed increase soreness in my trouble spots, ie shoulders and neck, but let me tell you that through that discomfort in the 24 hours following that first hour-long class, I felt something unlock. The result of which was being able to actually sleep on a pillow for the first time in 2 or 3 years! We heard testimony that first class that one of the volunteers who came with the instructors to help demonstrate, had a frozen shoulder, had been through physiotherapy without any success, was able to unlock her shoulder and regain range of motion after just 6 months of practicing Tai Chi. In the video below, see how deceptively gentle this exercise is as Rod and Rick give a review of the first 3 moves we learned in our first class. These moves are called 1. Opening move raising hands, 2. Left grab bird's tail and 3. Right grab bird's tail.
Tai Chi can lower your blood pressure, reduce or even remove pain from arthritis, reduce the risk of alzheimers, improve strength and balance. Moy Tai Chi has 108 moves developed for health and brought to Canada by Mister Moy Lin- Shinn. This is a perfect compliment to my twice daily yoga and daily reiki practice. As I said, I am already experiencing for myself the many health benefits offered by this gentle aerobic exercise imported from the far east, and being very open to it as reiki also came to the west from Japan. I know what gentle movement or energy shifting can do and highly recommend anyone try Tai Chi. Rick and Rod, the main instructor from the Canadian Tai Chi Academy, are great instructors who put us through the paces with humour and gentle encouragement.
In our second class, through much giggling and fun, we added a 4th move called whip out dead bird hold by tail. Thank you Rod and class participants for allowing me to record this video below.
With Rod, Rick and the other seasoned practitioners' permission, I was able to take some video and a few photos of our second class. By this time the soreness had disappeared from my neck and shoulders and as I was explaining to Brenda, yes I felt pain, but that only indicated to me that the Tai Chi was working. Continuing through the discomfort with my twice daily yoga practice, I have regained range of motion in my shoulder and sleep so much better. As she said and I agreed, "If you do nothing, it only gets worse and you're stuck there."
The video below is what we aspire to. All of the wonderful folks who teach and practice at the Canadian Tai Chi Academy in Cumberland county, Nova Scotia, kindly gave us this demonstration of the first 15 moves. The hushed voice you hear is that of Serge Morin explaining that there are a total of 108 Tai Chi moves and to do them all in practice takes 15 minutes. I can certainly find 15 minutes in my day to improve my health. Can you?
Thank you again to Rick Toupin, Brenda Toupin, Rod Morris, Joan Allen, Glenda Allen, Sharon Wall and Serge Morin who contributed to this post for your permission and your participation. I look forward to learning much more in the 10 weeks to come and imagine I will be so nimble, I'll be hard to keep up with. :D
You can't take care of anyone if you don't take care of yourself first, so do that then hug everyone you love because tomorrow is not promised.
Until next time.