There are very few sports that could claim to be suitable for all ages and skill ranges but the ancient art of Tai Chi fits the bill. Here is an activity that is good for all ages and skills.

Ninety-year-old Pat Truesdale and Elodie Perin who is in her twenties, both practice Tai Chi with the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Australia in Brisbane.

Pat, who served in World War II as a technician in the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force started Tai Chi four years ago.

“I have been active all my life,” she says. “In my early years I played hockey and did a lot of swimming.”

But Pat found she could not continue those activities in recent years and although she enjoyed playing bridge, she would get stiff sitting at the bridge table for long stints.

“I looked around at various alternatives to keep active. I could no longer get up and down from the floor easily as required by yoga. The artificial atmosphere of the gym was not for me, and I could no longer keep up the pace of bushwalking.

“With Tai Chi, I found myself getting more supple and I had a lot less arthritic pain,” Pat says. “I was sleeping better, I was walking better and I could turn my head and balance much better than I had for years.”

Elodie Perin began tai chi classes last year. “I had just started university studies and I wanted something to complement and help me with my studies,” Elodie says.

“I started because I was interested in the martial arts and Taoist philosophy, which focuses on methods for living a long and healthy life.”

Already Elodie is noticing some benefits. “When I practice the flowing Tai Chi movements during the day, it helps reduce my stress levels while studying and it helps me to focus. It has also taught me some fundamental ways to reduce strain on my body.

“Even though I am young now and don’t have many health problems, I think emotional stress and not treating your body correctly in daily life is a big reason for sickness and pain in later life.

“I really like how people of all ages can work out together doing Tai Chi in a friendly and non-competitive environment,” Elodie says.

Taoist Tai Chi arts of health are taught by accredited volunteer instructors at over 500 locations in 27 countries. The international organisation was established in 1970 by Master Moy Lin-shin, a Taoist monk from China.

The Taoist Tai Chi Society of Australia Inc is a volunteer, non-profit and charitable organisation which aims to promote the health benefits of Taoist Tai Chi arts. More information here.