It’s no secret that building your balance is one of the best ways to avoid a fall. Fortunately there are plenty of fun exercises you can do to improve your balance, from dancing, lawn bowls, to golf and tai chi. Injury Matters recently sat down with Anyes Icher, a qualified Tai Chi Instructor, to talk all things tai chi.
Let’s get to know Anyes a little
Anyes Icher has been in Albany for over 30 years. She has developed her own dance studio and has been teaching ballet and contemporary dance for many years, slowly developing her techniques in pilates, yoga, and now tai chi.
As an older adult herself, Anyes understands the importance of strength and balance-based exercises, such as tai chi, to support falls prevention in older adults.
In 2021, Anyes attended a two-day Tai Chi for Arthritis: Falls Prevention Instructor Training at the Albany Leisure Centre, provided by Injury Matters and delivered by Sam Sujatna from Perth Tai Chi Academy.
“I was completely taken by it and straight away went to the local senior citizen centre where I was already teaching pilates and yoga and said ‘Hey, I can teach tai chi now!’”
“So, we had a class and built up a clientele from there. Unfortunately, the senior citizen centre closed, but the people that wanted to continue practicing tai chi followed me to my private studio, so now I run regular tai chi classes!”.
Anyes now runs two classes per week at her Twilight Dreams Wellness Studio in Gledhow, four minutes from the Albany town centre, with options available for a beginner’s class on Mondays and advanced class on Tuesday’s. Anyes’ tai chi classes for seniors are affordable with consideration of people’s budget; everyone is welcome and no one is ever turned down for lack of funds!
What to expect in a tai chi class?
Anyes starts her tai chi classes with seated tai chi sequences, and if participants feel comfortable, can come up onto their feet and do the exercises while standing. The Sun style of tai chi often involves weight shifting movements, which often leads to improved balance over time.
Anyes finds that older adults that attend tai chi classes also enjoy the social and meditative part of tai chi, with beautiful Chinese music playing in the background while following movements. Class attendance varies from 6 to 12 participants and Anyes pays particular attention to everyone’s personal fitness level.
Are you interested in trying tai chi for falls prevention?
Tai chi is an evidence-based falls prevention exercise for older adults. Use the Injury Matters eDirectory to find a tai chi class and get moving today!