Tai Chi’s Secret to Stress Relieving and Relaxation

Exercise is a key way to de-stress such as lifting weights, going for a run or taking a brisk walk around campus. One exercise that only few students are in on the secret of stress relieving and relaxation is Tai Chi.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Tai Chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. To do tai chi, you perform a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner.”

Ashley Miller, senior Dietetics major, is the expert Tai Chi Group-X instructor and believes the class is great exercise and is a stress reliever. She has been doing Tai Chi for three years now and fell in love with it when she took a class at the YMCA in Sandusky.

“I think it’s fun and interesting,” Miller said. “Everyone should try it at least once.”

The average number of participants in her class ranges from two to six. Though Miller is enthusiastic about her consistent regulars in Tai Chi, there is still room for more participants and encourages more to sign up to enjoy a fun, relaxing and comforting.

“It’s not like the spinning or abs classes with hundreds of people,” Miller said.

One reason Miller pointed to the lack of attendance could be the change in time. Another cause for the low attendance could be a misunderstanding of the ancient exercise.

Tai Chi is a low impact workout, which means it does not involve cardio. Miller said Tai Chi is an exercise one might do after a high impact cardio workout. This low impact exercise has its benefits.

Miller said the benefits of Tai Chi include relaxation, body awareness, balance and blood circulation. It also helps with arthritis and joint pain. Better posture, a boost of immunity, an increase in mental awareness and clarity are also among the benefits.

Tai Chi is not for everyone though. Miller said it takes time to see the benefits and the first time may be boring for some people and then they choose not to return. However, Miller supports Tai Chi.

“It’s a real thing if you just stick with it; I actually broke a board,” Miller said. “Tai Chi helped me kind of relax and understand body awareness and special awareness.”

Miller teaches Tai Chi every Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. There is still time to purchase a Group-X pass to join and enjoy the benefits of Tai Chi.