The ancient art of Tai Chi has been around for thousands of years.
Although a form of exercise, a Tai Chi class isn’t likely to leave you soaked in sweat or needing to catch your breath.
Instead, participants achieve harmony on one leg.
At the Club Hampshire classes in Gosport, people are being put through their paces with a series of movements designed to help the free-flow of internal energy.
Tai Chi is both slow and gentle – making it a highly effective way to relieve stress by keeping the mind calm and focused.
Members of this class find the sessions have physical, mental and spiritual health benefits.
The movement can develop muscle strength, massage the internal organs and prevent injury by improving balance.
Tai Chi instructor, Alison Bull, has studied the art form for 11 years and believes it appeals to a variety of people because of its immense healing abilities.
‘There are several people who have had bypass surgery and found the health benefits of the class extremely effective,’ says Alison.
‘Other benefits are moving around easier, weight loss which can then loosen up your hips, and interacting with other people in the community.’
The class is aimed at those aged 50 and over, with exceptions made for people with physical restrictions who could benefit from the sessions.
‘We stick with this age range because you find that when younger people get involved it can intimidate the older members,’ adds Alison.
‘I’ve found a niche with older people and I enjoy introducing them to a relaxing and highly beneficial skill.’
Tai Chi was introduced at Club Hampshire in May and the Tuesday afternoon class has grown in popularity.
‘You often find people standing in the corner on one leg showing off their balancing skills,’ says Alison.
‘It’s heart-warming to see their progression.
‘The beauty of it is that because we do it to music, it becomes a way of escaping from the world.
‘You won’t find any aspect of competition in the classes. It’s to bring people together and create a relaxing environment.’
Alison hopes the class – which costs £4 per session – will grow in numbers through word of mouth and that the dedicated members will continue to reap the benefits of Tai Chi.
‘I don’t mind if people want to bring walking sticks, hold onto the bar or use a chair.
‘As long as they are participating in some way I’m happy,’ she adds.
‘Some Tai Chi is better than no Tai Chi.’
· To find out more call (023) 9258 4370, visit the Club Hampshire centre in Willis Road, Gosport, or log on to Club Hampshire’s website brendoncare.org.uk