The McAllen Nature Center (Botanical Gardens) will host Tai Chi and Meditation weekly meetings throughout the month of December on Saturdays, from 8 to 9 a.m. under the oak tree on the blacktops.
The McAllen Nature Center (Botanical Gardens) will continue to host Tai Chi and Meditation weekly meetings throughout the month of December on Saturdays, from 8 to 9 a.m. under the oak tree on the blacktops. Tiffany Kersten, the recreation supervisor for the McAllen Nature Center, is happy these events have been taking place on the regular basis since 2014 and will go on: “Tai Chi has positive effects on balance control, fitness and flexibility,” she says. “Elderly and people with disabilities can also participate and work within their limits.”
According to the program schedule, Tai Chi instructor Sophie Wang will lead the free sessions for 35 minutes, followed by a time of meditation when students can meditate as long as they like, and are only asked to leave quietly and not disturb the peace. Typically, around 30 people attend weekly meetings. Attendees are asked to wear comfortable clothing and flexible shoes, and to bring lots of water. “Tai Chi in the Park, also known as ‘Moving Meditation,’ is a free program promoting wellness in the Rio Grande Valley,” Wang says. “It is taught by volunteers and is provided free of charge. But for those who would like to help our cause, there is a donation box available. All donations made are used to purchase native plants for the site.”
The programs in the coming weeks will feature one hour of slow movement set to gentle music, which is aimed at stress reduction and increase in strength and flexibility. For Kersten, it is really important to promote health and wellness within the RGV and reduce stress from city living.
Part of the workout is a head to toe warm-up. The instructors recommend walking a lap or walk doing the Tai Chi steps for those who arrive early. For more instructions on warm ups and exercises, you can follow the McAllen Nature Center event calendar on Facebook.
The McAllen Nature Center is located at 4101 W. Business 83, on the south side of the road, between Bentsen Road and Ware Road. Winter Hours are Wednesdays through Sundays, 8 a.m. to noon. The center also offers 12 miles of hiking trails through native habitat and a picnic area.
By Rolf Otto Niederstrasser