Tips & resources on wellbeing nnd performance   ||   Issue 46, August 2022


Dear Reader,

In this issue I write about my recent experiences in running workshops for Year 7 students and aged care residents. There is Tai Chi tip for beginners and the usual words of wisdom from Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher.

Chris Bennett
Chris Chi


Aged Care: Tai Chi Chart

Agedcare ChartC

This is one of the laminated A4 size charts I use when running an aged care Chair Chi (seated Tai Chi) session for residents.

They're designed to help those who have difficulty hearing me give instructiions while I wear a mask (re Covid - requirement).

All I do is hold it up so it can be seen by the residents and talk it through


Teaching: The Young and the Elderly

One would think that working with young teenagers in schools requires more energy than working with aged care residents. But in my experience it's the reverse.

Working with residents requires more energy and patience as I'm dealing with some who have poor hearing and/or sight, physical disabilities, different levels of cognitive awareness, poor short term memory plus in some centres the distractions of the physical environment - open area; people walking by, chatter, radio, TV and once in a while tea and biscuits served while residents are performing the Tai Chi skills.

However, regardless of these difficulties I still enjoy the sessions as I have run Chair Chi (seated Tai Chi) for over ten years and still have regular bookings from several aged care centres.


Tai Chi: Preparation Posture

The Tai Chi preparation posture is usually the tarting point of a sequence of movements called the form. It is also an easy posture to practice to still the mind. Here's how to do it.

1. Stand with you feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing ahead, weight on both legs
2. Bend your knees slightly
3. Chest slightly in
4. Shoulders down
5. Chin slightly in
6. Head erect
7. Arms beside the body, fingers pointing down, palms pointing backwards
8. Hold this posture for as long as you can
1. Stand with you feet shoulder width apart, toes pointing ahead, weight on both legs
2. Bend your knees slightly
3. Chest slightly in
4. Shoulders down
5. Chin slightly in
6. Head erect
7. Arms beside the body, fingers pointing down, palms pointing backwards
8. Hold this posture for as long as you can

Do the preparation position three times a week for two minutes then add a few seconds each week. The three levels are:
- Beginner: 5-10 minutes
- Intermediate: 20 minutes
- Advanced: 60 minutes

If there is any pain, then stop what you are doing.

Please note, if you have a health problem, consult your physician and/or health care professional before taking up any new physical activities.


Tai Chi Wellbeing: Year 7 Students

duy-pham-Cecb0 8Hx-o-unsplash2

I've just completed three wellbeing workshops for Year 7 students at a secondary school. The themes covered were self esteem, self control and confidence from a Tai Chi perspective.

Enjoyable sessions, I used some of my toys to teach and reinforce key practical Tai Chi skills. My chattering teeth toy covered self talk which in Tai Chi terms is referred to as 'monkey brain'. And the use of Jacque the Shark toy at the end of each session was well received - the key teaching point here was remaining calm under pressure.

I haven't run sessions for schools for a while due to the Covid pandemic. but it's good to get back into it.

The skills I teach in various areas such as schools, aged care, sport and business organisations are the same - the only difference is in the way they are adapted for each group.

Image courtesy of Duy Pham via Unsplash

2022-08 Lao Tzu Quote
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