Tai Chi, Not Chai Tea :)


By Marge Gross

Tai Chi (pronounced tie-chee) is a graceful, meditative form of exercise involving a series of movements performed in a slow focused manner, accompanied by deep breathing. It has been around for several thousand years and is practiced by approximately 100 million people in China daily. In America, “more than 2.5 million Americans are practicing Tai Chi to reduce stress and anxiety, increase energy, stamina and flexibility, muscle strength and definition and balance.” (Mayoclinic.org)

I discovered Tai Chi at a community center seven years ago, while searching for a low impact exercise that would help me regain my balance after cancer. What looked like boring, slow motion exercises turned out to be a transformative experience.

After taking that class, not only did my balance improve, so did my PTSD. My mind was more calm and relaxed after each practice, which allowed my body to activate its own innate healing capabilities. Along with prayer and bible study, Tai Chi is an integral part of my daily routine in taking care of my temple.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corithinans 6:19-20

In the meditative part of the practice, I focus my thoughts on gratitude for God’s healing power in me, which starts my day with a positive attitude.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Phil 4:8 NIV

Two years ago, I moved to Destin in the midst of the pandemic. Again, I searched for a Tai Chi class, hoping I would find an outdoor practice, since social distancing was a thing then. But I could not find any. So I decided to do it myself and got trained to be a Tai Chi EasyTM practice leader, with ongoing training certifications. I love that this program is not as formal as traditional Tai Chi, which can sometimes lead to more stress in trying to perfect the forms. But doing it the Tai Chi EasyTM way makes the practice fun, non-competitive and easy.

The Tai Chi EasyTM program was created by Dr. Roger Jahnke, who carefully reviewed many of the most popular, prevalent and beneficial forms out of 10,000 forms of Qigong and Tai Chi and distilled a set of practices that are easy to teach, easy to learn and easy to practice. It is a carefully developed approach that makes Qigong and Tai Chi easy, fun, and beneficial right away.

Essentially, Tai Chi EasyTM takes five of the traditional movements from Tai Chi and does them in a stationary standing position or in a seated position. As the process advances, the movements can be performed, combined with Tai Chi Walking.

Anyone can do Tai Chi because it is low impact, inexpensive and does not require any special equipment. It can be performed indoors or outdoors, alone or in a group.

Of course, it is always wise to consult your healthcare provider before trying Tai Chi.
So whether you are a newbie or a pro, join us at the Destin Library on Mondays from 9-10 a.m. For more information, contact the Destin Library or email Margegross777@gmail.com.

Marge Gross is a Certified TCEPL. She is also a Mental Health Coach with a focus on Metanoia Mind Change Method. For the last 25 years, Marge has helped women transform their lives mentally, emotionally and spiritually.