Tai chi and mindfulness blend in free MSU Extension program

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) — Michigan State University Extension is offering a new free online program that teaches tai chi to help build physical strength and flexibility.

The class is called Tai Chi for Balance, Body and Spirit.

“The combination in this class, the tai chi and the mindfulness, is great,” Anita Carter, a program instructor for the MSU Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute, said. “The tai chi in and of itself is a mindful practice. It’s called mindful movement, which would be one of the strategies we would talk about in our regular mindfulness class.”

The second part of the programming offers exercises in mindfulness to manage stress and find balance in your day-to-day life.

“Really the idea is to practice a little exercise that helps develop those points of balance in your body and also to learn a few strategies for keeping yourself present. Living with the day-to-day and being present for all those good things that are happening to us,” Carter said.

Tai Chi for Balance, Body and Spirit will be offered online via Zoom at 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays starting March 14 and going through May 13, 2022. You will need video and audio capabilities on your computer tor table. This program is free but please be sure to register at: https://events.anr.msu.edu/taichiforbalance2022/

Carter said students should have a space clear of obstacles, have water ready and wear comfortable shoes and clothing. The classes last about an hour, but Carter said the time shouldn’t be intimidating.

“It sounds like a lot, but I start going over the safety. We’ll talk about those issues, then we’ll go through warm-ups every time. They can be your beginning set,” she said. “Then we’ll go through teaching a move. Once we’ve been through a few classes, we’ll go through the moves we’ve learned then we’ll add a new one.”

If you are worried about mobility or ability, Carter said she will talk about modifications in every single class. Whether you are sitting, standing, or using a surface like a chair for support, the class is accessible to most.

If you have questions or need help to register, call or email Anita Carter at 906.360.9732 or carte356@msu.edu.

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