Due to the water temperature, Campus Recreation is no longer offering Ai Chi sessions. If water temperatures improve sufficiently, it is possible that the class could be offered again next summer.
In prior years the class was taught by Linda Gatson (Office of Finance). Linda began her study and practice of Ai Chi in 2005. She introduced Ai Chi to the UMSL community by teaching the class as part of the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Summer Wellness programs. In addition to her experience with land-based Tai Chi, Linda has also adapted the Modified Yang Style 24-Form (Fu Style) to a pool environment.
Ai Chi is an aquatic technique that combines Tai Chi concepts with Shiatsu and Qigong in a water (pool) environment. Developed in Japan by Jun Konno and popularized in the United States by Ruth Sova, Ai Chi is a water exercise and relaxation program that uses a combination of deep breathing with slow, broad, fluid movements of the arms, legs, and torso. The Ai Chi progression moves from breath work to the incorporation of upper extremity movements, then to movement of the trunk, followed by lower extremity movements, and finally to the involvement of the entire body. The movements work on the Meridian Stretch (extending the long axis of the body) which is more effective in water under the weightless conditions created by buoyancy.
The primary purpose of Ai Chi is relaxation and stress reduction. Flexibility, balance, coordination, and improved range-of-motion are just a few of the other benefits that one may experience.
Jun Konno describes Ai Chi as "...that sigh we give when we are at peace".