ON A Wednesday, in the crisp mid-morning sunlight of spring, a group of people move slowly and gracefully though tai chi routines.
Breathing in and out deeply, their arms lift and lower, like the stroke of a paintbrush, moving in unison as they follow instructor Kevin Bee’s guidance.
This was the scene last week at Inala’s Len Waters Park, at the first of many free Tai Chi Qigong classes.
The practice, originally developed for self-defence, has evolved into a graceful form of exercise and is now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions.
Often described as meditation in motion, it promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements. The movements are performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
Mr Bee, of Jindalee, said the meditative exercise had changed his life since he took it up seven years ago.
“My wife and I were walking in the park one day and saw a sign advertising a free session, so we thought, ‘let’s have a go’,” he said.
The 81-year-old said he now had improved mobility, posture and could breathe better, as a result of regular training.
“I was a smoker for 48 years and since I started tai chi, my lung efficiency has become 24% better than what was predicted,” he said. “A number of people who I’ve taught have also come up to me and commented on how much better they feel.”
Mr Bee said tai chi was low impact and put minimal stress on muscles and joints, which made it safe for all ages and fitness levels.
“We’ve had sessions with kids as young as eight years old to seniors as old as 98,” he said.
Classes are supported by the Brisbane City Council and run each Wednesday 9-10am at Len Waters Park, Cnr Inala Ave and Gannett St. Bookings not needed but for more information phone 33581955 or email jkbee1@ optusnet.com.au.
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