Relaxing moves

A VETERAN Tai Chi master is helping Fremantle locals unwind and embrace “meditation in motion”.

For nearly two decades Banyin Lee has taught Tai Chi all across Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Recently he formed the community, not-for-profit group Taichi Internal Arts, which holds low cost Tai Chi classes in Bibra Lake.

“Forming a community group and teaching Tai Chi is my way of giving back to the society from which I have benefited enormously,” he says.

“My inspiration for teaching Tai Chi comes from the knowledge that it is the perfect exercise to achieve optimum health particularly for older people because of the gentle meditative movements.  

“The benefits include improved flexibility and balance, decreased stress and increased energy.”

Mr Lee originally trained in Taekwondo, before transitioning to ‘softer’ martial arts like Tai Chi, Qigong and Sabre.

He was born in Malaysia, but became a bit of a wanderlust and spent time living in New Zealand and Australia in the 1970s, before settling in Perth in 1982. He now resides in Willagee.

Mr Lee says the great thing about Tai Chi is that it can be practised by literally anyone, including 98-year-old Noreen, who attends one of his classes.

“It is different from other exercises because it focuses on coordinated extension of joints and body turning rather than stretching,” he says. 

“If you can walk, you can do Tai Chi so it is suitable for all age groups.  

“In Tai Chi practice, you learn to focus on the movements so mind chattering slowly dissipates leading to a state of mindfulness. Hence it is like a meditation in motion.”

Since launching Taichi Internal Arts, the not-for-profit has gone from strength to strength and now has about 300 members across WA and New Zealand.

Mr Lee says his tai chi incorporates Qigong, which helps people cultivate life force.

“It combines breath and simple movements to circulate Qi (chi) energy in the body. Qigong can harmonise, strengthen and have a healing effect on the functioning of all the internal organs and bodily systems.

“Qigong is the perfect companion exercise for Tai Chi.”

Taichi Internal Arts will be starting a new block of classes for beginners next Saturday (February 6) at noon at the Wetlands Centre in Bibra Lake (they also have centres in Nedlands and North Beach). 

You can try a free class and if you like it sign up for a low yearly fee. 

For more details call Mr Lee on 9337 3852 or go to taichiinternalarts.com

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