Creating a new Mind and Body Group at Sojourner House, Program Assistant and Group Facilitator, Tara Irwin has partnered with the community to bring worthwhile experiences to the women in the program. In just the first few months of the group, residents have practiced guided meditation, visited a Himalayan Salt Cave and attended a T’ai Chi class at Still Mountain T’ai Chi and Chi Kung.
Teacher Jesse Prentiss from Still Mountain donated an introductory course for the residents, in which the women were taught various slow movement postures that facilitated in full body stretching and relaxation. Mr. Prentiss also provided a basic lesson on the history of T’ai Chi. “T’ai Chi is an ancient form of exercise that blends physical movement with deep meditative breathing in order to boost energy, cultivate physical and emotional balance, and instill a sense of spiritual and physical well-being (www.stillmountaintaichi.com).”
For the residents of Sojourner House, the class was not only about learning T’ai Chi, it was about experiencing the art of T’ai Chi, a martial art that is applied with internal power, and taking themselves on a spiritual journey. Many felt refreshed and rejuvenated after the course. As the group continues, the women look forward to learning more about forms of meditation and healthy lifestyle choices.
Many thanks to Mr. Jesse Prentiss who donated and taught the T’ai Chi class and to East Liberty Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for donating a space that allowed all of our residents to attend. For more information on Still Mountain T’ai Chi, please visit their website or call 412-480-9177.