Sunrise residents have been enjoying Tai Chi

A time to breath and relax at Sunrise

The residents and staff at Sunrise Tuncurry have been enjoying Tai Chi thanks to Steven Henson, a local Tai Chai master.

Steven has been working at Sunrise as a care worker for the past six months. He is also a distant relation to Jim Henson.

Steven has been practising Tai Chi for almost 30 years. He trained in Melbourne and practices six days a week. He took up Tai Chi as he was an avid rock climber as it was good for his focus especially when up in the heights.

He also runs a free class in Foster at Pebbly Beach each Saturday morning.

Steven says it's great for your breathing and it makes your circulation stronger and helps with your balance.

"It's all about your mind, body and spirit.

"My old master said it's essential you get your foundation right. Take care of your hands, your feet and legs. We are like a house, if you don't take care of your foundation you fall down.

"It helps with anxiety, relieves depression and helps relaxation.

"It also incredible for focus as your eyes follow your hands. Then you feel from the inside. Tai Chi is mind driven, the muscles become alert and the bones become stronger.

The classes run for half an hour each Wednesday at 10.45am and are attended by a range of Sunrise residents.

Steven also runs a weekly class every Thursday for all the Sunrise staff but it is particularly good for people who sit for long periods of time.

Steven gives his time for free for both classes as he just loves to see people participate and keep moving.

Kimberly Aird, Sunrise's resident's consultant, goes along to the staff classes and says she has found it beneficial.

Tai Chi is a wonderful exercise to stimulate body and mind.

Nita Batis, Sunrise Resident

"I really enjoy the classes," says Kim. "It was different to what I thought, and it's great to be able to focus on myself for a moment."

Nita Batis is a resident at Sunrise and she said, "Tai Chi is a wonderful exercise to stimulate body and mind.

"It helps with balance, calms the nerves, helps those sleepless nights, gives one inner peace and an overall sense of wellbeing," says Nita.

Mary Lyons has also been enjoyed the classes and she says "it makes me feel relaxed and slow down, I enjoy the sensation of moving slowly. In other exercises, such as walking, I move fast but this makes me slow down".