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Over 65ers try some Tai Chi

Yanxin Li of Confucius Institute (second from left) leads participants through the positions. Photo: Dr Jo-Anne Sewlal

Creative Minds Development Initiative (CMDI) facilitated a Tai Chi demonstration session on February 11 for the Dominican Laity and Over 65ers’ group of St Anthony’s RC Church, Point Fortin. The demonstration was conducted by Yanxin Li of the Confucius Institute, Trinidad.

Li started off the session by giving a brief history of the origins of Tai Chi which is actually a form of martial arts developed in China about 2,000 years ago. During this session, participants were instructed on the basics of Tai Chi including the hand and body positions.

Margaret Fonrose of the Dominican Laity introduced the session where she outlined some of the benefits of Tai Chi to seniors which include reduced stress, blood pressure and symptoms of arthritis, improved flexibility, and overall pain relief.

The slow and controlled movements of Tai Chi is especially beneficial to persons with limited mobility as it allows them to improve their balance, motor skills and co-ordination.

The Dominican Laity has a long history in this country, founded in 1871. A chapter of the Dominican Laity was formed in Point Fortin in 1991 under the priorship of Leonard Bradshaw and his wife Grace and the tutorship of the Dominican Sisters. One of the roles of the Laity is to identify the needs of its parishioners which led to the formation of the ‘Over 65ers’ group last year, the goal of which is to meet the needs of parishioners in this age group who want to stay active in both body and mind.

CMDI is a registered NGO founded by Dr Jo-Anne Sewlal and Raymond Aaron, both of Point Fortin. Its mission is to facilitate the development of positive attitudes and assets within the society, by making learning accessible and encouraging communities to overcome all challenges including those of geographic isolation in order to create a transformation in our society.

Although it was a demonstration session, shortly after it started all participants were up on their feet trying out the movements regardless of whether they were in exercise wear or not. It is definitely an activity that the group would like to continue on a regular basis. – Dr Jo-Anne Sewlal