Tai chi for good health and exercise By Brigette Jobin Posted 4 days ago When John Horn was on dialysis for kidney complications, he turned to the art of Taoist Tai Chi to help is recovery. And it worked. “I could do things that the other dialysis patients couldn’t,” said the 55-year-old Whitecourt resident. “When I sick …
I had a better quality of life because of tai chi.” Taoist Tai Chi is an internal art that is a gentle set of moments that promotes health and well-being for people of all ages and in all kinds of health conditions. The internal art is intended to improve the mind, body and spirit. Horn was introduced to Taoist Tai Chi in 1986 when he was driving taxi in Red Deer. Sitting down for most of his day, Horn wanted to do something physical. Someone suggested tai chi. After taking classes for a year, Horn became an instructor. “Teaching is a really, really good way of learning,” he said. “The exercise makes you feel good and being involved in helping other people also makes you feel good.” As a part of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada, Horn said this form of tai chi is different from other forms. All the instructors are volunteers. “Taoist Tai Chi is unique in many ways,” he said. “There are other forms of tai chi and I’m sure they are good exercise but they don’t have the spirit of helping other people and that’s a huge part of what the (Taoist Tai Chi) society brings to people when you get involved.” Horn has taught classes in Whitecourt before and will be starting a beginner class again in September. The last class Horn taught was in January, after he hadn’t offered them for a few years. “I missed the people and the exercise,” said Horn about why he decided to start classes up again. Taoist Tai Chi classes will start in the beginning of September. The first class will be free for anyone to try. After that, the class will be held twice a week for four months.
The registration fee is $20 and the fees are $45 per month. There is a beginner package deal available as well as senior and student discounts. Anyone who is interested in trying the first free class or signing up for Taoist Tai Chi can call Horn at 780-779-9908 or can email him at Whitecourt@taoist.org. Fact Box • Taoist Tai Chi was originated by Taoist monk Chang San-feng during the 13th century in China • this form of tai chi is also referred to as Taijiquan which means ‘grand ultimate boxing set’ • Taoist Tai Chi consists of 108 movements and exercises designed for improving health in the holistic sense • Physically, it involves stretching, full range of motion and the continuous turning of the waist and spine in order to exercise tendons, joints, connective tissue and internal organs. • Mentally and spiritually, it is a method of ‘taming the heart’ and developing an attitude of calm, compassion and reduced self-centeredness.
Cutline: John Horn, 56, is a Taoist Tai Chi instructor who will be teaching a new class at the beginning of September. Brigette Jobin/Whitecourt Star
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