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The Dragon's Head Blog: 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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