NEWRY — “Thank you for waking my body up,” said one of Karen Reilly’s Tai Chi students.  “Every Wednesday is a Monday,” said another of the classes held at Bear River Grange Hall in Newry each Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Reilly learned Tai Chi from Valarie Cole at Seniors Plus in Greenwood. She and Jackie Cressey became certified and co-taught for several years in different venues until Cressey moved away. Now Reilly teaches alone at the grange. Classes are free but she has a 20 student limit. She posts new sessions on Age Friendly Community Initiative’s social media sites and at CitySpark.

Enhanced relaxation; increased strength and flexibility; better breathing; and sleep are some of the benefits of this ancient Chinese form of exercise practiced, not only in Newry, but around the world.

Reilly said Tai Chi makes her feel very centered and connected to her body in the moment. She calls it moving meditation. “Aside from the Tai Chi I love getting together for the people. People say they love coming for the Tai Chi and they love coming for the socialization,” said Reilly.

“I come in dragging and go out smiling,” said Pat Cherella, of Gilead.

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