Helensville’s Tai Chi class, held each Thursday in the War Memorial Hall, gets a big tick from those who attend, some of whom have been members since it began in 2010. Tai Chi is a low-impact, relaxing form of meditative exercise whose benefits, say teacher Brian Barton, include relieving the physical effects of stress, improving lower body and leg strength, improving balance and stability and enhancing concentration and mindfulness. It’s an all-ages activity, particularly good for those of us who are getting a bit stiff in the joints and running fewer marathons these days.
Regulars Judy Lloyd, Jenny Sergeant and Val Shepherd have some other advantages to add to the list. They say that as well as the physical benefits – more suppleness in the joints, improved balance, lower blood pressure, better co-ordination and concentration- they really enjoy the social aspect, feeling energized, meeting new people and catching up with old friends over coffee after the session.
Brian, who’s a third-degree black sash holder and travels to Helensville from South Auckland to hold the class, has a gentle, patient manner and is encouraging but low key – there’s no pressure to ‘perform’. The class costs $7.50 per session. New students are always welcome, just turn up wearing comfortable clothes and thin-soled shoes. You’d be most welcome.