“Ancient Chinese art stands test of modern times”
Story by Merryl Miller
TWENTY years ago, exercise was all about “the burn”.
We responded to Olivia Newton-John’s entreaties to get physical; donning ourselves in lycra shorts, headbands and leg-warmers and working out until it hurt.
But at around the same time as we sweated and burned in the name of health and fitness, a very different kind of exercise came to Toowoomba.
New for regional centres such as this, it was nevertheless a form of exercise dating back many hundreds of years and promising well-being without the pain.
It was tai chi – and Toowoomba man Lindsay Sheedy became one of its very first proponents.
“I guess back then, anyone who did things like tai chi was considered to be a bit of a hippy,” the St Ursula’s teacher of math and science says.
“But I was attracted to the relaxation that tai chi could bring, and interested in holistic exercise that brought together the body and the mind.
“Going to the gym and working out might be some people’s thing, but I found I could get a real workout from tai chi, without putting any stress on my limbs.”
In two short decades, the numbers of people involved in tai chi in Toowoomba has grown by more than 200%; from just a handful to a decent-sized and enthusiastic crowd.
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