Monday, April 30, 2018

Stressed? Try Tai Chi and slow down

It helps you keep fit. It dissipates stress. It allows you focus on yourself. And though it looks to be only movement in slow motion, writes Brian Byrne, Tai Chi is a discipline which brings to anyone the ability to improve their lives in many ways.

Yuki Kobayashi has been teaching Tai Chi in Kilcullen Parish Centre for several years, as well as in other centres within reasonable distance from her home in Moone. An acupuncturist by profession, her interest in Tai Chi was triggered when it was recommended to her for dealing with back pain while she was living in London.

It's actually based on martial arts, with the movements slowed down. "That makes it look as if it is effortless, but in fact it takes a considerable degree of concentration and work," she says. "It makes you focus on different parts of your body while practicing it, and by doing so you forget about day to day issues." The advantage is that it doesn't require the fast physical movements of the martial arts it is based on.

Tai Chi is not just for a weekly class. Like all physical and mental disciplines it works best when practiced every day. It can even be done during breaks at work, as there are five-minute routines which are designed to be done at a desk. "It's also really good on airplanes during long-haul travel," Yuki says.

In Kilcullen, the classes are on Wednesday mornings in the Parish Centre, from 10 o'clock. Yuki also offers special 'Gentle Tai Chi' sessions for people with arthritis from 11.30am, so Tai Chi really is available to everyone, regardless of age or physical abilities.

Yuki runs what she describes as a 'Balancing Clinic' from her home on Moyle Abbey in Ballitore, where her husband is an organic farmer. This is based on her expertise with acupuncture, which views that all the ailments are the result of physical/mental imbalances and aims to restore harmony. It can be used either by itself or in conjunction with other medical treatments to help a wide variety of conditions.

You can contact her on 086 3412006 or email