PARA offering Tai Chi

PARA offering Tai Chi


TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  – Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority is now offering Tai Chi as part of their PARAfit programming. Classes are at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Miller Center, 300 Bobby Miller Parkway and on Wednesdays at the McAbee Center, 3801 Loop Road.

Growing in popularity with Millennials and seniors, Tai Chi involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.

The instructor is Dr. Huei Hsia Holloman, a University of West Alabama professor of sociology and sports, an American Fitness and Aerobic Association certified fitness instructor and a Chinese language teacher. She started teaching fitness workout in 2000 at the University of Texas at Austin Recreation Sports Center and later on other university fitness centers.

According to Dr. Holloman, “Tai Chi uses ancient meditative and martial arts movements in a harmonious and relaxing way to improve the health of all age groups, particularly the elders, without exacerbating existing impairments. Beginning level participants will work on overall body balance, flexibility, stretching, coordination, breathing and mind concentration in a harmonious and relaxing manner.”

Jay Logan, Director of Community Outreach and Senior Programming says, “We all envision a community where everyone, including our older adults, is active and park and recreation Silver Sneaker programs are a key place to address fitness and wellness for all active adults. We are excited about the ability to offer this as part of our overall suite of Silver Sneaker programs in our activity centers.”

Sarah, Smith, Fitness Manager, says, “Tai Chi will begin at McAbee and Miller Centers with plans to offer at all PARA Activity Centers in the future. This is an extra choice in PARAfit programming which is included as a benefit of membership.”

According to the National Recreation and Parks Association, Tai Chi demands continuous movement as it requires a constant shifting of weight, which improves both stability and mobility and triggers a mindfulness of one’s base of support and changing center of gravity. In addition, Tai Chi incorporates both asymmetrical and diagonal arm-leg movements and promotes arm swing and rotation at the waist, all critical components of gait function. This low-impact exercise puts minimal stress on joints, making it a low-risk, appropriate exercise for seniors. Participants learn the sequence of the moves while improving their posture, control of their body in space and symmetry of motion.

Qi Gong Tai Chi, 氣功太極 is one of the ancient Chinese martial arts, known as harmonious and gentle “Moving Meditation” or “Shadow Boxing” created in China over 3,000 years ago. The principles of Tai Chi derive from the Daoist philosophy and the Book of Change, I Ching, 易經. All changes exist in Tai Chi, the continuing flows of two opposing forces yin 陰 and yang 陽.

PARAfit classes are included with membership or a daily user fee is available. Please visit for a complete PARAfit schedule and membership information.