Qigong and tai chi session scheduled in Summerland

Exercises will be taught at Summerland Drop In on Oct. 17

A tai chi and qigong instructor will provide information and teach special introductory classes on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Richard Lautsch will teach the classes at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. at the Summerland Drop In, 9710 Brown St.

Organizers of the event say the two exercise styles are promoted as having medical benefits.

Qigong has similarities to tai chi and has been referred to as “the Mother of Tai Chi.”

The purpose of qigong is to work with one’s internal energy. The Chinese word “Qigong” translates roughly as “Energy Work,” or as “Breath Work.”

READ ALSO: Summerland Tai Chi program changes

READ ALSO: Tai chi and qigong session planned

But there are some notable differences between the two forms of exercise.

Moves in qigong tend to be in a single location with only occasional steps out and back, so it lends itself well to being done seated. Gentle, flowing movements that engage the whole body are repeated several times very slowly and meditatively in a gentle stretch and release which is coordinated with breathing.

Qigong is a perfect exercise for people who have trouble with memorizing the sequences of moves that tai chi requires – you just follow along with the instructor.

For those interested in a bit more of a challenge, tai chi (sometimes called Chinese Shadowboxing), unlike qigong, uses more floor space, turns, and steps.

It tends to resemble a graceful, slow-moving fight.

Moves tend to be sequential with very few repeats, so some memorization of moves is needed.

However, the tai chi form Lautsch will teach is short, with only 18 moves and a repeated section done in mirror image.

As a result, this particular form tends to be much easier to learn.

Participants will feel an early sense of accomplishment compared to the much longer forms that are generally taught.

Qigong and tai chi courses will run each Thursday from Nov. 7 to Dec. 12 at the Summerland Drop In.

For more information about the introductory session or courses, call Lautsch at 250-486-8089, or Susan Norie at 250-494-3370.

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