COOKEVILLE – “One world… one breath.” That’s the motto of a global event Cookevillians are invited to take part in on April 29 – World Tai Chi and Qigong Day.
And it’s free.
“For several years now, we have been observing World Tai Chi Day, and Cookeville was the first city in Tennessee to get the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day proclamation signed by the governor,” Mildred Garrett, recreation programmer for Cookeville Leisure Services, said.
Celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April, World Tai Chi and Qigong Day brings people together from hundreds of cities in more than 80 countries spanning six continents. The purpose of the event is to educate people on the benefits of mind-body practices and provide an example of how the world can come together across racial, ethnic, religious and geopolitical borders to focus on personal and global health and healing.
Cookeville’s event begins at 10 a.m. at the Cane Creek Recreation Center at 180 C C Camp Road.
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that is today practiced as a graceful form of exercise to reduce stress and improve balance. Often described as “meditation in motion,” it is low-impact, putting minimal stress on muscles and joints. Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical posture breathing techniques and focused attention.
Award-winning martial arts instructor Nikki Desch will lead the Tai Chi demonstrations with the help of other local instructors. Desch, who has more than 35 years of martial arts experience, teaches Tai Chi classes regularly for Cookeville Leisure Services, as well as other martial arts courses in Cookeville.
Participants may observe or participate.
“Tai Chi can be for anyone, youth or adults,” Garrett said.
Garrett and local Tai Chi instructors recently met with Gov. Bill Haslam as he signed a proclamation designating April 29, 2017, as Tai Chi and Qigong Day in Tennessee.
In addition to Tai Chi and Qigong demonstrations, flute music will be performed by Massood Taj, a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in meditative music. Drawing on influences from the world’s indigenous, mystical music traditions, including his own Sufi heritage, he has conducted workshops and facilitated interactive programming for more than a decade.
Sword demonstrations are also part of the event.
For more information, call 931-520-5286 or visit www.worldtaichiday.org or www.cookeville-tn.gov/ls.