With its slow and flowing movements that engage your entire body and its calming effect on the mind, Tai Chi is a great activity for people of all ages. Whether you’re looking to boost your physical health, find a way to manage daily stressors, or simply explore a new and captivating form of movement, Tai Chi offers a wealth of benefits and an enriching experience that is worth trying.
Endorsed by The Arthritis Foundation and the Center for Disease Control and Injury Prevention (CDC), Tai Chi is an evidence-based health program that reduces stiffness and pain, keeping joints mobile. Age Well provides classes for individuals who are 60+ years of age. Taught by certified volunteer trainers, there is no charge for these classes, but donations are gratefully accepted.
Keep reading to hear from two of our dedicated Tai Chi instructors Jerry Henderson and Elizabeth Whirls:
Jerry Henderson’s Tai Chi Story:
Tai Chi was introduced to me in Canada around 1971 when I learned enough to use the principles in everyday life for the next 50 years. Life happened, and I only returned to regular practice occasionally. It was when I retired and decided to return to Tai Chi practice that I met Ruth Barenbaum who became my teacher. She reawakened the knowledge I had at times forgotten, but as importantly, Ruth gave me the gift to stand up and lead in front of others. So began my certification process as an instructor for Age Well and my becoming a Trainer and director on the board of Tai Chi Vermont.
Like many, my stiffening joints led me (back) to Tai Chi. Not soon enough to avoid back and multiple knee surgeries, but my practice definitely helped with recovery. For many years now I have enjoyed the direct health benefits of the regular practice of Tai Chi; in particular, continued mobility and flexibility, as well as enhanced focus and body awareness, specifically balance.
While my partner Elizabeth and I take delight in teaching, we also enjoy participating in workshops and training to be ready to share our experiences in every class.
Elizabeth Arms (Wirl)’s Tai Chi Story:
The great Tai Chi master, T.T. Liang, reportedly said, “One of the best things about Tai Chi is Tai Chi friends.” Certainly, that has been true for me. Having lived away from Vermont for forty years, I began teaching for Age Well soon after moving back. That was more than ten years ago.
My fellow instructors and students were essential to my replanting and putting down new ‘roots’, in more ways than one. Today, I am still amazed when we come together, whether for classes or training workshops, that we gather in the spirit of friendship… simply as human beings, with no need to know anything other than our names. Each of us with different backgrounds, professional and personal, and with different physical abilities and challenges. But all of us with a sense of connection, desiring what one fellow student has called, “long life with honey in the heart.”
Interested in trying Tai Chi yourself? Check out our Calendar of events to see our current classes.