SUMMERLAND REVIEW FILE PHOTO TAI CHI IN THE PARK On April 28, participants will gather for tai chi and qigong in Memorial Park. World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is celebrated in more than 80 countries on the last Saturday in April. This is the third year it will be held in Summerland.

Tai chi and qigong session planned

Exercises will be held in Summerland’s Memorial Park on April 28

Tai chi and qigong instructors will host a public session in Memorial Park later this month.

Summerland’s third annual World Tai Chi and Qigong Day event will be held in Memorial Park on Saturday, April 28.

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is celebrated in more than 80 countries on the last Saturday in April, at 10 a.m. in each time zone.

Tai chi and qigong are gentle exercise systems with a long history in Chinese medicine.

Tai chi movements have origins as a blend of martial arts and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It involves learning a series of postures and some walking around, covering a bit of ground or floorspace.

Qigong generally is a little more stationary and focuses on breathing and energy. Since it also embodies repetition of movements, it tends to be a little easier to learn. Much of it can be done seated.

More recently, western medicine, spurred by research by the Harvard School of Medicine, has also recognized their health benefits.

Susan Norie, one of the instructors at the session, said the motions involve the whole body.

“It gently moves the entire body, rather than isolating exercises in the gym,” she said. “If we learn to move our bodies efficiently, our bodies are grateful for it.”

The motions are done gently, and not at a full level of exertion, she added.

Norie will host the session on behalf of the Summerland Drop-In Recreation Centre Association. She will be joined by guest instructors Doug Mathias of Naramata and Sandra Lee of Penticton.

The event will be followed by an open house at the drop-in centre, 9710 Brown St. If the weather is poor, the entire event will be held at the centre.

The centre is celebrating its renewed mandate by sponsoring this event. For further information, call the office at 250-494-9377 and leave a voice mail.

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