Inverness County was host to 40 enthusiastic Tai Chi’ers this past weekend as the Cape Breton branch of the Canadian Tai Chi Academy celebrated its first National Level Workshop. With participants from the island including people from Belle Cote, Inverness, Mabou, Port Hood, Judique, Port Hawkesbury and Cleveland, there were also participants from Antigonish, the South Shore, Parrsboro and Amherst. As well, two participants joined the group from British Columbia and the Instructor, Darren Pryke, was from Ottawa.
Friday evening was an introduction to the theme for the weekend – “Finding Balance with Tai Chi”. Participants reviewed movements from the 108 Moving Meditation, and then played with parts of the movement to fine tune and tweak their technique. Over the weekend we connected with each other, shared some great exercise and food, and finished with a great sense of accomplishment as everyone was able to participate right to the end.
There were some great observations of changes as the group learned how to work together, the movements smoothed out into a soft, flowing sequence – the kind that many people have observed in city parks and been mesmerized by. Some people felt an increase in flexibility through their spine, some people opened up their stretch, calmness was felt by all as the clock disappeared with time, and some found new strength in joints and muscles. After Friday evening, one participant even found enough strength in her fingertips to be able to squeeze her pill box open, which she hadn’t done for months. Small but important changes were happening everywhere.
The Cape Breton branch has class running through the summer on Tuesday and Thursdays. Tuesday is in Judique at the Community Hall from 6:30 – 8:00, while Mabou is on Thursdays at the Greenwell’s, (4614 Route 252) from 7 – 8:30, (at Dalbrae Academy in the music room until July). There are two workshops planned: July 2 6-9 pm at the Judique Hall with Yvonne Waines from West Kelowna Branch, and July 4 6-9 pm at the Renewal Center with Doug Waines from West Kelowna Branch. The cost for the workshop is a month’s membership with the CTCA at $10 for 55 yrs and older, and $20 for under 55 yrs. As well, a toonie is collected at the door for the hall rental.
Active living is happening in Cape Breton, and Tai Chi is one incredible choice we have for finding strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, energy and enthusiasm. Tai Chi is possible for all mobility possibilities and can be taught from a chair. New people are always welcome to come and check it out, and we encourage new participants to have patience with themselves to learn a little at a time. A little goes a long way in changing movement patterns and opening up the possibility of rejuvenation for the body. For more information check out www.canadiantaichiacademy.org, www.dancedebut.com or email Michelle Greenwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 945-2967.