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World Healing Day has Tai Chi, yoga

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Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 22:11

This Saturday at 10 a.m., 50 nations and 600 cities will hold events with the intention to re-focus the public's mind on healing methods.

The event is known as World Healing Day and will be held in Memphis at Shelby Farms, picnic area five. The event will until noon and be hosted by the Wushu Tai Chi School.

"Last year the event was held at Rhodes College," said senior Nicholas Cupples, an e-commerce major. "It was a good turn out of Tai Chi practitioners."

Cupples has practiced Tai Chi for several years now and will give a demonstration at this year's event.

Tai Chi can be translated from Chinese characters as "supreme ultimate." This notion is often associated with the Chinese concept of the yin and yang, the notion of dynamic duality (male/female, dark/light). In the West, Tai Chi is practiced as a form of meditation through movement.

"Tai Chi at its core is a martial arts practice," Cupples said. "It's creating a unison of mind and body that generates a sense of tranquility. This sense of tranquility stays with you through your daily life and also has many health benefits."

Unlike hard styles like Karate and Kung Fu, Cupples said Tai Chi is a soft style and is almost like a slow motion Kung Fu. There are four main styles of Tai Chi: Chen, Wu, Sun and Yang.

"The theme is healing," Cupples said. "It is designed to heal you, make you healthier and strengthen your immune system. It's a great form of exercise."

Cupples said there should also be several yoga instructors at the event teaching mini-workshops.

In addition to World Tai Chi Day and World Yoga Day, World Healing Day is a celebration for energy and meditation, massage therapy, prayer for healing, natural health therapies, earth cultures healing, environmental healing, animal rights and organic agriculture.

"Demonstrations will be given by different schools, and we will have different groups all practicing at the same time," Cupples said. "At the end, people will gather around the leaders, and they will talk about what it is all about."

Bill Douglas, author of the best selling book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tai Chi and Qigong," formed world Healing Day in 2003. Douglas has written on global health and healing issues worldwide.

University of Memphis Sophomore Mason Chumpia, biology and chemistry major, said he is looking forward to attending Saturday's events.

"I took a yoga class here at The University last spring," Chumpia said. "I had it first thing in the morning, and it relaxed me for the entire day. This event sounds interesting, and I'm curious to know more about it."

Chumpia's interest could stem further than just the event Saturday. Cupples said this summer there will be a Tai Chi course available for students to take.

"Tai Chi is an important art form practiced on the other side of the world," Cupples said. "It's good to learn about other cultures. The benefits are educational and valuable. This Saturday's event is a great opportunity for someone who does not know much about Tai Chi to come out and learn what it's all about."

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