Fit and active at 80-plus, Joan Burn and Karl Fasching credit Enliven’s Modified Tai Chi classes with helping them retain a sense of balance and keeping their blood circulating.
“During the class I can feel my hands getting warmer,” says Karl. “I feel relaxed and centred.”
Joan agrees that the gentle exercise and breathing techniques make a big difference to how she feels.
“Even though I have had a hip replacement, both knees replaced and arthritis in my ankle I can keep up with the rest of the class and feel the benefits.”
Joan and Karl, who have attended classes for 10 years, say tai chi requires a long-term commitment and patience.
“Tai chi is best practiced regularly. I’ve seen people get impatient after only a couple of classes, wanting instant results,” says Karl. “But it takes concentration and time to get the true effects.”
The graceful movements which have lyrical names such as, ‘stroking the bird’s tail’, ‘waving clouds’ and ‘strum the lute’ form a series of individual sets which focus on addressing osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and overall balance and circulation.
Gillian Doran, who also attends the Enliven classes, says tai chi has helped restore her mobility and balance.
“I had bad inner ear problems and was affected by anxiety. These problems have all but disappeared. I’d recommend others try modified tai chi – it’s amazing!”