Learn to Tai Chi in classes offered at Jamestown YWCA

JAMESTOWN – A series of Tai Chi classes, beginning Feb. 8, will be offered at the Jamestown YWCA. These classes, which are open to everyone, will begin with an introductory weekend workshop at the Jamestown YWCA, taught by Margaret Matsumoto.

The slow graceful movements of Tai Chi strengthen and revitalize the body, calm the mind, and engender a sense of lighthearted happiness. Although Asian in its origin, Tai Chi has tremendous relevance now for our culture. In addition to helping maintain optimal health, research shows that doing Tai Chi can make a significant difference in dealing with a wide range of serious illnesses, from cancer to heart disease, as well physical pain, mental and emotional stress.

David Goodell, a Jamestown native and author of the book, “Opening the Gate of Life,” is helping launch these local Tai Chi classes.

“Practicing the gentle art of Tai Chi for a few minutes each morning and evening is among the most effective ways to cultivate a healthy and balanced lifestyle,” Goodell says. “It’s surprising how something so simple has such wide-reaching impact in the quality of our daily lives.”

“Gaining the full benefit starts with correct instruction. I am very excited that Margaret Matsumoto, the Tai Chi Foundation’s director of teacher training, will be teaching in Jamestown. Margaret has taught beginning through advanced students, as well as overseeing the Tai Chi Foundation’s Teacher Training Program, for over 35 years. The quality of instruction she provides is extraordinary.”

The weekend workshop will begin with a free sample class on Friday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Jamestown YWCA.

“I welcome adults of all ages to come and try it,” encourages teacher Matsumoto. “When we move with Tai Chi relaxation, we not only feel better, but we often experience a sense of calm and alertness that can boost both personal and work-related interactions. I invite you to come and experience it first-hand.”

The weekend workshop will continue on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until noon and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and finish on Sunday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Comfortable street clothes that allow a natural walking gait are preferable to tight clothing or heavy work-out sweats.

“We will spend most of our time on our feet, learning the movements, so please bring flat-soled shoes/slippers or socks,” Matsumoto advises. “And bring your natural curiosity and willingness to experience yourself anew.”

No other special equipment is needed. There will be opportunities to sit and rest, and the schedule will include breaks for lunch or refreshment, discussion, perhaps for some video clips, and time for asking/answering questions.

The cost of the weekend is $75. Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, contact Kathy Messina at the Jamestown YWCA, at 488-2237, ext. 223. More information about Tai Chi can be found at www.taichifoundation.org. Space is limited, so register early.