By Helen Martin
Although it was originally conceived as a martial art, Tai Chi is now widely practiced as a low-impact, relaxing form of meditative exercise whose benefits include relieving the physical effects of stress, improving lower body and leg strength, improving balance and stability and enhancing concentration.
Brian Barton, whose popular Helensville Tai Chi class has been running since 2010, has been teaching mixed age groups for 15 years. The third-degree black sash holder started learning the practice in 1997 at the Shaolin Kempo and Tai Chi school in Glenfield and has since studied with teachers in Auckland and Taiwan.
“Tai Chi is very simple and easy to learn,” explains Brian. “You’ll feel the benefits from the first class you attend and with diligent practice at home and a weekly top-up in class you will be able to achieve your health goals.”
Brian’s class is held in the War Memorial Hall and costs $7 per session. New students are always welcome, just turn up wearing comfortable clothes and thin soled shoes.
The 2016 class reopened at 9.30am on Thursday January 21. All classes run for an hour.