The Red Deer Branch of Taoist Tai Chi is celebrating their new digs with an open house Sept. 7.
After nearly 30 years in various locations around the City, members and instructors with the non-profit organization are excited to invite everyone to pop by their open house at the Port O Call Medi Dent Center on Sept. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. for refreshments and a free introduction to a Taoist Tai Chi ™ session.
Members say that each step in the training is intended to help the mind return to stillness, clarity and wisdom, and the body to a balanced, relaxed and healthy state.
The Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism is a registered charity that teaches and promotes the Taoist Tai Chi ™ throughout 27 countries, said instructor Carol Weber, who has been doing Tai Chi for about 12 years.
It’s also something virtually anyone can get involved with.
“Children can do this, and we have people who are in their mid to late 80s,” she said. “It is quite amazing. What keeps people coming back is that you never really learn it all – you are always discovering new things about it. It keeps us mobile, it helps with arthritis. My bone density has improved, which is amazing for people in our age bracket.”
Being a non-profit organization, instructors are volunteers who are required to update their skills and knowledge on a regular basis as well. Weber said participants start with a beginner program which is usually about four months long. From there, they move into continuing classes. Ultimately, there are 108 moves in Tai Chi which help bolster overall fitness and well-being.
“It’s called ‘meditation in motion’.
“We also have all different levels. We have people who are in their 30s who are very capable of doing the moves to very different degrees than those of us in our 70s. But it all works together, and we help each other all the way through.
“It’s like a family. We do try and take care of each other.” There are also lots of social activities planned throughout the year as well.
The Red Deer Branch of Taoist Tai Chi provides beginner classes throughout the fall and winter. They also offer a health recovery class for those suffering from injuries or illness, every Saturday.
Other health highlights proponents point to include stress reduction, improving posture, breathing, cardiovascular fitness, balance and coordination and concentration.
Sometimes, people can feel overwhelmed when they hear about 108 moves to learn, said Sara Rattray, also a member of the branch. She’s been doing Tai Chi with the group for seven years. “But the instructor always says you have a lifetime to perfect them. It’s also about finding balance.”
She also loves the community aspect of the organization.
As for their location, which they moved into this past June, members couldn’t be more pleased with the bright and spacious facility.
“We’re finding it to be wonderful,” said Weber, adding that the central location is also ideal.”
Meanwhile, their September beginner classes all start the week of Sept. 9th with daytime spots Monday and Friday from 11 a.m. to noon and Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
There are also evening classes Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 7 p.m. and Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
There are also classes held in Lacombe and Innisfail.
For more information, visit www.taoist.org and follow the links to Red Deer.