Gentle Movement in Silent Unison: Improving Health in Phillips
It’s inspiring—people of a broad spectrum of ages and abilities in the Phillips community quietly doing the gentle stretching and deliberate movements of Tai Chi on the 23rd floor of Ebenezer Tower.
The Tai Chi sessions are led by master trainer, Richard Johnson, and are part of the Phillips Wellness 50+ program. “This is an exciting addition to Wellness 50+,” said Lee Cunningham, one of the Wellness 50+ team members. “The slow, gentle movements of Tai Chi are so good for maintaining health. The sessions have been very popular. Tai Chi can be practiced anytime, anywhere and by anyone. No equipment or special space is needed.”
“Richard is so wonderful,” noted Donna Nordin, another Wellness 50+ team member. “He is down to earth but very knowledgeable and engaging. He sprinkles the Tai Chi training with pearls of wisdom about living. We all enjoy him, and it’s good to have his intergenerational perspective.”
The program has attracted a broader cross-section of the Phillips community members. “I am so excited to have Tai Chi in the neighborhood,” said one participant who lives in a single-family home in Phillips.
Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese tradition, focuses on coordination, relaxation and deep breathing rather than muscle tension. It offers many benefits, including:
- Improved heart function
- Increased energy and stamina
- Improved stress management
- Improved muscle strength
- Mental calm and clarity
- Better balance and flexibility to prevent falls
2018 Tai Chi sessions will start up on February 6, meeting every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Ebenezer Tower on Portland Ave. Sessions are open to the public, but non-Ebenezer residents: please contact Donna Nordin at 612-741-5180 or firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know you will be coming.
Johnson has studied Tai Chi since 2005 and was an assistant instructor at Normandale College under Tai Chi master, Dr. Russell Smiley. He leads Tai Chi classes at Lifetime Fitness, LA Fitness and Skyway Fitness. While Tai Chi is rooted in authentic, ancient practice, Johnson makes it accessible in the modern world.