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Ai Chi
24 Form
Sam Lin

About The Group
Our informal Tai Chi Group at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) was established in 2003 so that students who completed the formal Tai Chi class could continue to meet and practice together when the formal classes were not in session. We also meet one Saturday a month. Our group is made up of UMSL students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others from the surrounding community. This is a very diverse group.

When We Meet
In general, this group meets one evening a week and one Saturday a month. The number of people attending any one practice session can fluctuate greatly, so e-mail is used as our primary means of communicating whether or not people can attend. Any time that at least two people say they can attend, a practice session will be held. If only one person can attend a session, it will be cancelled. E-mail is also used to communicate upcoming special events.

Formal Tai Chi Class Information
I'm sorry to say that effective March 20, 2015 the formal Tai Chi classes at UMSL have been discontinued. The Mark Twain building is slated to revert to an athlete's only building soon and the department of Campus Recreation is being phased out. A new Wellness Center is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015. It is unknown at this time if Tai Chi will be offered at the new facility.

Historical Instructor Information
Mr. Sam (Shuhan) Lin established this class on the UMSL campus in 2002, teaching the class through the Spring 2009 session. Due to Mr. Lin's extensive travel schedule, he asked one of his students (Linda Gatson) to take over the class. Linda began her practice and study of Tai Chi under Mr. Lin in 2003. She assisted him for three years, taught the Spring 2008 class, and began regularly teaching the class in the Fall of 2009 until the program ended in the Spring of 2015. She also began leading a daily midday Qigong practice at UMSL in the spring of 2007. Linda also taught the Ai Chi class for Campus Recreation for a couple of semesters until the pool temperatures changed and became too uncomfortable for class participants.

Midday Tai Chi Qigong Sessions
A midday Tai Chi Qigong practice session was established in 2007. This is a 30 minute Qigong practice that students and employees of the University can incorporate into their lunch break. Everyone is welcome and no special clothing or prior experience is necessary. As much as possible this Qigong practice is offered two days a week. At the present time the sessions are being led exclusively by Linda Gatson and as such are subject to her availability. To be added to the Qigong e-mail notification list, send your e-mail request to Linda Gatson. Because of the prevalence of SPAM, be sure to put the word QIGONG in the subject line.

Tai Chi Health Benefits
There are many different claims of health benefits associated with the practice of Tai Chi. In order to prevent overburdening the website with an exhaustive list of links, I am providing only a few. The first link is to a Mayo Clinic Article. This second link is to the Tufts-New England Medical Center Analysis. This third link is to a May 2009 article from Harvard Medical School.

This final link is to the Supreme Chi Living. This website is hosted by the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association and provides a lot of useful information about Tai Chi as well as the health benefits. They also offer a free subscription to their Supreme Chi Living newsletter.

On the RealAge website there is an article entitled "Improve Your Balance". The article includes steps for measuring your level of balance against a comparative age equivalency. If you are interested in testing your balance, you can find that article on the RealAge website at this Are You Losing Your Balance link.

In the September/October 2007 AARP Magazine there was an interesting article entitled "Watch Your Step" about balance training. It includes a progressive set of balance exercises that (along with your Tai Chi practice) can greatly improve your balance. You can find the article at this Watch Your Step link.

Liability/Assumption of Risk Statement
Individual participants should be duly aware and acknowledge that participation in recreational programs and activities involves an inherent risk of physical injury. Individuals assume all such risks by voluntarily electing to participate in recreational programs or activities. The University of Missouri-St. Louis assumes no responsibility for individual injury or property damage incurred in connection with use of facilities or participation in programs. Individuals are reminded that they are responsible for their health and should have medical approval prior to engaging in activities in the UMSL facilities. It is highly recommended that individuals have medical insurance. UM-St. Louis does not carry insurance to cover patrons.

This page was originally created and is maintained by: Linda Gatson
Last Updated: March 21, 2015