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Gentle exercise for body and mind

REDFERN: Every Wednesday for just over a year there has been a free Tai Chi class behind the café in Redfern Park. The class is offered by SHARE Learn for Life in partnership with the City of Sydney and NSW Health writes Liesa Clague in the South Sydney Herald of March 2012.

Instructor Ritsuko Kurumado explains that it is a misconception to think of Tai Chi as one particular style. In fact several styles of Tai Chi are common – Chen style (the oldest style), Yang style (the most widely known and practiced) and the Sun style that Ritsuko teaches (the youngest of the major styles).

It is wonderful to see the faces of participants glowing with health from this gentle exercise.

All the participants in the 11am-12pm class have noticed a decrease in visits to their doctor and use of some of their medications due to reduced pain with their arthritis, some form of which most of the Redfern Park group have. They have also noticed improvements in balance, memory and self-esteem – and all thought they were happier.

Ritsuko says that it is a gentle, slow-moving form of exercise so it’s great for anyone. It promotes relaxation in both mental and physical ways. It improves muscle strength, flexibility and overall fitness, and the 73 steps are simple and easy to learn.

Ritsuko finds Tai Chi “a great experience” – she loves the culture, the intricacy of the different forms of the art and the positive environment it creates. “Being able to teach Tai Chi to others is a gift and I enjoy my classes with the participants immensely, they are so keen to learn the great exercise that Tai Chi is.”

For more information, including additional venues, contact the City of Sydney on 9265 9489, or SHARE Learn For Life on 9533 4422 or visit

Source: South Sydney Herald March 2012 -