Mary McLachlan-Sanger is lucky to walk using only a stick after a bacterial infection destroyed her right hip.
But she credits the 108 movements of Tai Chi for opening up her muscles and joints, giving her body enough flexibility and strength to keep her on her feet.
On Sept. 15, the veteran Tai Chi instructor is running a day-long class at the Fung Loy Kok studio at 910 Prince Street, to introduce Truro-area residents to all 108 moves and, ideally, sign them up for classes this fall.
“The moves themselves put all of the connective tissue in your body – muscles, ligaments, tendons and the joints themselves – through their whole range of movements in a very relaxing way,” said McLachlan-Sanger. “When you learn the moves you focus on them, it rests the mind; and people in modern times lead such stressful lives – it’s wonderful for reducing this.”
Other health benefits of Tai Chi include better circulation, posture, bone density, balance, improved concentration, better endurance and physical strength.
The club in Truro has approximately 50 members, part of a worldwide network of 40,000 Tai Chi practitioners started by Master Moy Lin Shin, a Taoist monk born in China. McLachlan-Sanger herself has been an instructor for more than 20 years.
After his family fled political unrest in Mainland China by going to Hong Kong, Master Moy arrived in Toronto about 1970. Learning Tai Chi as a monk helped him survive a difficult childhood and he made it his mission to teach its principles to others.
Following the Taoist principles of service and self-sacrifice, instructors must themselves keep training and they have their own teachers. McLachlan-Sanger, who’s practiced for more than 20 years, never did meet the late Shin, but her own instructors were trained by him.
The Sept. 15 all-day class runs at the studio from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees should bring their own lunch, but a supper will be provided after the session ends.
Regular Tai Chi classes this summer are running at 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursday and an evening session runs on Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. From the end of September, the club aims to run classes on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.