WellU to offer weekly Tai Chi Classes

Haiwang Yuan, a staff member of the Helm Library, teaches “Tai Chi Tuesday” a class provided through WKU’s WellU program on Nov. 7.

Laurel Deppen

In the lower level of Java City, chairs were pushed out of the way to make room for eager Tai Chi participants.

Tai Chi, which originated in China, is based on the philosophies of Taoism. Like Taoism, Tai Chi emphasizes the balance in all things.

WKU Libraries is partnering with the WellU program to bring the ancient practice of Tai Chi to students on campus. Every Tuesday afternoon in November, a Tai Chi class will be hosted in the lower level of Java City.

According to the Tai Chi for Health Institute, “everything is composed of two opposite, but entirely complementary, elements of yin and yang, working in a relationship which is in perpetual balance. Tai Chi consists of exercises equally balanced between yin and yang, which is why it is so remarkably effective.”

The practice can be beneficial for both mental and physical health. Tai Chi can help strengthen muscles and relieve stress.

Haiwang Yuan, a library faculty member in the Web & Emerging Technologies Work Group, has been interested in Tai Chi for six years. He taught himself the practice after a visit to China.

“The Chinese believe that people are made of the elements. They are in balance,” Yuan said. “Tai Chi by itself means the yin and yang, the balance. It relieves pressure [and] increases the immune system.”

Yuan went on to explain how students can continue to develop their interest in Tai Chi.

“It’s up to the teacher to get the students into the door … it’s up to the students themselves to practice, to learn and to perfect their skills,” Yuan said. “This is kind of introductory. Probably, the students will be like me and get interested in it and learn by themselves or invite me or anybody else to teach them more.”

Tai Chi Tuesdays take place in the lower level of Java City from 3:30-4 p.m. and will continue for the rest of November. WKU Libraries Communication Coordinator Jennifer Wilson said she hopes to continue Tai Chi sessions into the next semester.

Sophomore Madi Crawford commented on how she benefited from Tai Chi.

“I have anxiety, so it was really calming for me,” Crawford said.

Students have a unique opportunity to try something new by participating in Tai Chi Tuesday.

Bella Dana, a junior from Hendersonville, Tennessee, participated in the event and commented on gaining a new experience.

“It was cool to experience something that was different—something I’ve never done before.”

Though Tai Chi is physically beneficial, participants didn’t find it straining.

“Some people might turn away because they don’t think they’re athletic,” sophomore Kailey Minor said. “I think anybody could do this.”

Reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at (270)745-2655 and [email protected].