Gavin Cooke led a tai chi class for beginners last Sunday morning in Sidmonton Square, in an endeavour that came about organically.
His wife is a member of Bray Open Forum. “She saw a post by one person saying they know a little about tai chi and would love somebody to practice with, maybe who has a bit more experience. My wife mentioned it to me and I said I would be happy to do it.”
Without any real idea or intention of teaching a class formally, he put out that he would meet anyone interested at the park at 10 a.m.
“The post gathered a little bit of interest and we did a class last Sunday,” said Gavin.
Two people came to the first session, and as time goes on he expects that more will join in.
For now, there is no charge, but Gavin may organise something more formal in an indoor setting during the autumn.
“I have taught tai chi before, years ago,” he said.
Gavin has lived in Bray for the past 12 years, after moving from Blackrock. He had always intended to get a class started in the Bray area. He has practiced the martial art for the past 20 years, and continues to do so most days.
This came about just at the right time, and did become something for those who are complete beginners or just have a little experience.
“There are huge benefits to the practice of tai chi,” he said. “It helps with balance, mobility, strength and flexibility, and even endurance even though the movements are done very slowly.
“It improves breathing, and increasing the breathing, as it’s mainly using the lower abdomen.
“There is body awareness. While you’re moving slowly, you’re constantly checking in with the different structural requirements and alignments.”
Ganin is very happy that people have come along who have an interest in tai chi. He said that they are working their way through what is known as the “yang style short form” of the art.
He will be at Sidmonton Square park each Sunday morning at 10 a.m., as long as weather permits, and anyone who wishes to learn tai chi is welcome to attend the class.