Taoist Tai Chi Society of New Zealand article posted in ‘The Bay of Plenty Times’

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‘Slow-moving meditators complete Tai Chi marathon’

Silence filled the Tauranga Taoist Tai Chi studio yesterday as its members celebrated 25 years of Tai Chi in New Zealand with a Tai Chi marathon.

About 300 members rotated from 9am to 5pm for a continuous display of the 108 set moves – 25 rounds for 25 years.

Instructor John Fletcher said each set took about 20 minutes and people rotated throughout the day.

Mr Fletcher started Tai Chi 18 years ago when a back injury had limited his movement and left him in pain.

Tai Chi is a slow martial art, focusing on stretching and allowing energy to move around the body.

“In terms of my back it’s been a life changer,” he said.

“It enabled me to maintain mobility and movement.”

Since then he had become an instructor and a member of the national Taoist Tai Chi Society.

Many people got involved at an older age to keep active with soft exercise, he said.

“All the muscles, tendons, ligaments are being turned and stretched and it’s that constant movement that really benefits people.”

Tai Chi was also a form of “moving meditation” because people had to be present in the moment to focus on their bodies and their movements, he said.

“For a lot of people this is an antidote to the busyness of their everyday life.

“People love the opportunity to just be silent and move for 20 minutes,” he said.

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