T'ai Chi classes with Jo Pender
ying yangT’ai Chi Chuan is an ancient Chinese exercise/art form. It is one of the martial arts. It originated in China around the 5th century A.D. and is now practiced all over China and in many other countries. It comes from the “inner school” of the martial arts – the one that deals with the harmonizing of mind, body and soul; the outer school deals primarily with physical strength, speed and self-defence, ie. Karate etc. It consists of a series of slow graceful movements, which combined with deep rhythmic breathing offer many health benefits including:

1.    Creates great flexibility with an awareness of how the whole body (skeleton & muscle) work together in harmony.
2.    Relieves stress through the use of deep breathing.
3.    Frees up energy and improves circulation.
4.    Improves concentration and memory.
5.    Expands lung capacity equal to that of a long distance runner.


White CraneThe philosophy of the T’ai Chi encourages the idea of “no force”. This concept could be termed “going with the flow”. It is much harder to push up against the current of life than it is to flow with it. Although a very gentle form of exercise T’ai Chi is also very powerful. Many of the great masters maintain their balance, concentration and stamina into their 90’s through the daily practice of the T’ai Chi Chuan. Jo teaches the Yang style, long form of the T’ai Chi. It takes 16 one and a half hour classes to learn the form which, once learned, takes 20 minutes to perform. It is the solo practice and can be done anywhere and anytime. Nothing is needed except loose comfortable clothing and soft flexible shoes. It is suitable for both men and women of all ages. It can be taken up at any stage in your life. The only contra-indication, however, concerns those who suffer from severe arthritis of the knees. For those who suffer from this it is not considered suitable.

T’ai Chi classes are being offered by Jo Pender who is originally from Tullamore, now residing in Headford. She has been doing T’ai Chi since 1993 and has been teaching since 2001 in Galway and Mayo. With the Yang style one must be practicing for 8 years before being qualified to teach. Jo has a masters degree in Counselling Psychology and is a qualified Shiatsu massage therapist. Having worked in both disciplines Jo finds that T’ai Chi brings mind and body together into one practice.

ImageShe is currently teaching in Galway city and county. She is interested in hearing from schools/ businesses/organizations and clubs where T’ai Chi would be a valuable and useful tool as a stress management technique. People with special needs can also benefit from T’ai Chi. It is being used in Germany with children with autism. It is an excellent form of exercise for those suffering from asthma because of the slow rhythmic breathing produced during practice. It is very good for maintaining balance and in this regard could benefit people with multiple sclerosis. Large or small companies could offer T’ai Chi to employees offering them a method of improving posture and relieving stress. A person who plays sports can benefit from T’ai Chi. It is being used with runners and those who play tennis, golf and horse-riding.

For further information on classes etc…please call Jo at (086) 8893441 or send an email to  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .