News Flash Home
The original item was published from 4/17/2018 4:14:10 PM to 5/1/2018 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

Leisure Services

Posted on: April 17, 2018

[ARCHIVED] World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is April 28

Barbara Sandlin and Susan Van Aalten demonstrate Tai Chi sword use.

Susan Van Aalten, Nikki Desch and Barbara Sandlin show the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day sign.

COOKEVILLE – Barbara Sandlin, 76, decided several years ago it was time to go to “battle.”

She picked up a sword – a Tai Chi sword, that is – in an effort to stay active.

“As I’m getting older, I don’t want to stiffen up or lose my balance,” she said. “I just want to be flexible and strong.”

It’s a healthy goal the Michigan native stuck with when she moved to Putnam County and began taking Tai Chi classes at the Cane Creek Recreation Center.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said.

Susan Van Aalten, 66, who earned a black belt in karate before switching to Tai Chi two years ago, feels the same way.

“I decided to do something that was softer and yet still a martial art – and this is it,” she said. “It keeps me moving.”

Of course, Tai Chi isn’t all about swinging swords. And it’s not just for older people. This ancient Chinese tradition, often described as “meditation in motion,” is a graceful form of exercise practiced both for defense training and health benefits.

“It’s great for all ages,” instructor Nikki Desch, who has more than 35 years of martial arts experience and regularly teaches classes for Cookeville Leisure Services at the Cane Creek Recreation Center, said.

Anyone interested in learning more will get a free sampling April 28 on World Tai Chi and Qigong Day. Demonstrations, led by Desch, begin at 10 a.m. at the Cane Creek Recreation Center, 180 C C Camp Road.

“Since the whole world is participating, you’ll feel the energy,” she said.

Hundreds of cities in more than 80 nations on six continents participate annually on the last Saturday in April in an effort to educate people on the benefits of mind-body practices and provide an example of how the world can come together across racial, ethnic, religious and geopolitical borders to focus on personal and global health and healing. The event’s motto is “One World… One Breath.”

Mildred Garrett, Cookeville Leisure Services programmer, said, “We have been observing World Tai Chi and Qigong Day for several years now, and Cookeville was the first city in Tennessee to get the proclamation signed by the governor.”

While Tai Chi promotes serenity through gentle, flowing, low-impact movements, Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical posture breathing techniques and focused attention. Attendees may participate or just observe.

In addition to the exercises, Sandlin and Van Aalten will be giving Tai Chi sword demonstrations.

“I think everybody can benefit from Tai Chi,” Van Aalten said. “If you move, you’ll keep moving. That’s my goal.”

 For more information about World Tai Chi and Qigong Day or Tai Chi classes at the Cane Creek Recreation Center, call 931-520-5286

Facebook Twitter Email