Seniors enjoy Tai Chi at the PCC

Story by Leslie Alamillo

The Seniors Studies Lifetime Learning Center at the PCC in Building QQ offers numerous opportunities for seniors by creating programs each Spring and Fall semester serving  them in ways that can improve their daily life living, including teaching seniors Tai Chi.

A Tai Chi class in the program runs for six weeks each Spring and Fall semester. Registration is on campus, but not directly with the college, according to the Lifetime Learning Center.

Seniors or non-seniors interested in signing up pay $30 for enrollment with the director of the center, Theresa Brunella. Anyone can join.

Tai Chi student Louis, who did not provide her last name, 74, said, “Well, I’ve been coming for a couple years now, ever since the program began actually. Of course, it’s not as much as it sounds since it is an on and off program that only is once a week for six weeks in either Spring or Fall, but I love that it relaxes me so much. I have a 2-year-old granddaughter and it has helped with my movements and balance.”

Certified instructor David Chen, 76, explained the meaning the class has on him: “Tai Chi is to prevent seniors from falling over, gain muscle control and create better balance. It was once researched by a man, who made two groups of seniors, one that was taught Tai Chi for 13 weeks, and the other did not. The group of seniors who were taught Tai Chi reduced falls by 55 percent and that was when the CDC and the state of health department adapted this method in the country. You have to be authorized to teach Tai Chi and I am a certified trainer and have been doing this for years to relax and improve my movements. Tai Chi is about moving to the left, right, forwards and backwards using muscle memory to calm the mind.”

Chen’s partner and student, Vivian Chen, 75, said, “I heard about this class through David and that was when I decided to try it out. For the past several years it has always made me feel healthier and more balanced with my body and thoughts. It is very relaxing and makes me happy.”

The class meets Fridays in Building QQ109 at the PCC from 10:30-11:30 a.m.