Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A celebration within The Celebration!

Okay, here's one I bet most of you don't know: April 24th isn't just the date of the first day of The Hudson Valley 40th Anniversary Earth Day Celebration (and the rest of your life...); it's also World Tai Chi and Qigong Day. And we're going to celebrate this day at our Earth Day(s) Celebration with sample classes in both, for anyone of any age to try.

But before I tell you more about when, etc. and who's teaching these classes......For those of you who may not know about these two gorgeous and rewarding arts...(depending on whose definition you choose) Tai Chi (also spelled T'ai Chi, and pronounced "Tie Chee") is variously described as a martial art, a "soft" martial art, a Chinese form of exercise, and a way to both meditate and exercise.

The definition I like the most for this beautiful, flowing, slow discipline is "a spiritual and physical discipline, developed in China over millennia to bring balance to the body and flowing peace to the mind" (thank you, Tai Chi facilitates the flow of your body's life force, and promotes good health and vitality. Qigong (pronounced "chee-GONG") is a Taoist discipline -- again, going back thousands of years -- that teaches you how to use breath and posture to gather energy from the universe.

Who will teach you? Well, it won't be me! (I'm hoping to have the time to take the classes in between running around the Fairgrounds making sure that y'all are having a great time!)

David Haines -- who graciously has offered to show you and guide you through an introductory session -- teaches both Qigong and Tai Chi (and something he calls The 20-Minute Body/Mind Routine-TaiChi & Qigong for Busy People) all over the Eastern part of the US, but principally in the Hudson Valley, including at Bard College at Simon's Rock, and community education facilities in Taconic Hills, Red Hook, at Columbia-Greene Community College and at the Omega Institute.

Our World Tai Chi and Qigong intro classes will be offered at noon and at 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday (4/24-25). Wear comfy clothing. And no, you won't have to lie down on the hard'll be standing and moving, and loving it!

Oh but wait! That's not the only great-for-your-body-and-your-mind classes we're offering up during the Earth Day Celebration. Did I hear you think, "Gee I hope they have yoga, too..."? Well as a matter of fact...

Vinyasa yoga instructor, Ron Hayes, RYT, is going to be with us on Sunday, April 25th, giving a 1.5-hour class for you to take. Vinyasa links movement with breath, and even those who don't practice yoga, are not physically strong or particularly flexible can take the class. That is, this isn't one of those classes where the instructor forces you into painful positions or urges you to push yourself beyond where you feel you can't go. The key here will be for those of you who get competitive when other people are doing more than you can do, is to NOT compete.

There are two prerequisites for this class (just so you know...). You need to bring a yoga mat with you (this is, after all, the Fairgrounds, not a yoga studio and our floors are concrete). And, you will have to sign a waiver form, holding both Ron and the Fairgrounds harmless if you push yourself too far and get hurt. The waiver goes for Tai Chi and Qigong, too, btw...

I know, it's only one yoga class. SO FAR. Check back here for more classes, with different instructors -- we're working on it...working on it...

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