Many believe Tai Chi really can improve one’s health and may even be a better regiment than some medications.
It’s one of the reasons Heights resident Fresolina Schafer attends the free monthly Tai Chi classes at the Hasbrouck Heights Library. Schafer swears by the benefits of the exercise and says it is working to improve her health.
Schafer is just one of the many local residents who have been taking the free Tai Chi demonstration which is taught by Paul Barcia, a Lodi resident who is offering the class as a way of sharing and giving back all the benefits of Tai Chi he enjoys since he was first introduced to it.
Barcia learned everything he knows from his former teacher, the late B.P. Chan who says had a deep knowledge of Tai Chi that went way back. He says his former master was very humble. He never carried a business card and never charged for his teachings. Wanting to give something back, Barcia set out to teach classes and he too asks for nothing in return.
He started out presenting a three-part workshop at the Hasbrouck Heights Library earlier this year that was so popular, it led to a monthly residence on the third Monday of each month from 7 to about 8:30 p.m. in the community room across the hall from the library.
Barcia wants people to learn the benefits of Tai Chi and how it can really improve health and bring relaxation. He is also there to educate people about how it works. Known as ‘yoga in motion’ Tai Chi is a moving meditation, a powerful key to relaxation, increased focus and concentration.
He gives out materials that explain the benefits and how Tai Chi works. Also he shares knowledge of acupuncture points on the body and how one can use this knowledge to benefit one’s health. For example Tai Chi can be very helpful in improving hypertension.
Barcia says hypertension comes as a result of an energy block where it is all trapped in the head and the chest. Tai Chi exercise can help release the energy in to the hands and the feet where it should be overall improving blood pressure throughout the body.
He starts the class off with some light movement exercise that involves swinging the arms back and forth lightly which begins to create energy in the arms. From there he begins to walk the class participants through the movements of Tai Chi.
Earlier this month Barcia was named a "Good Neighbor" by the Kiwanis Club during their annual awards ceremony. The library had nominated Barcia for his giving his time to the community by offering his Tai Chi teachings.
The class is free and is offered on the third Monday of each month. The next class is set for Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. Call the library for more information at 201-288-0484.