Venae Sears-Ellis is a Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer with additional certifications in certified Silver Sneakers, Yo-Chi (Yoga + Tai Chi), and Zumba Fitness! She has prepared various Adult Fitness and Dance Programs to help students achieve their short-term and long-term individual fitness and artistic goals. She teaches a variety of weekly classes for adults and children including Tai Chi, Hatha Yoga, Ball Room Dance, Line Dance, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop and Tap Dance. She is also the Owner & Artistic Director of Kharisma Dance Studio located in Ellijay, Georgia.
“TAI CHI with 20 MINUTE GENTLE YOGA STRETCH” on Tuesdays & Thursdays at The Gallery with Venae: An EXCITING FUSION of two ancient Chinese fitness disciplines! TAI CHI is a slow moving internal martial art designed for healing and self-mastery. Internationally, it is a very popular low-impact exercise option, accessible to people of all ages, abilities and physical conditions. Studies have shown with weekly practice it quickly builds strength, balance, flexibility and coordination while boosting heart, breathing and immune function. It can also reduce both anxiety and depression, and can help you sleep better at night! Combining it with HATHA YOGA, an ancient holistic approach to total mind-body health and restorative fitness, provides additional benefits of building core strength and improving spinal alignment & posture. It can also provide improved stress management through relaxation and mindfulness!
EVERY 75 MINUTE CLASS SESSION INCLUDES: Invigorating Tai Chi basic techniques, movements and forms followed by 20 minutes of gentle Yoga stretching, and concluding with a relaxing Contemplation Cool-Down. Accompanied by beautiful music, you are sure to leave feeling refreshed and ready for your day!
- WARM-UP (10 MINUTES) - We will focus on controlled breathing exercises to relax the mind and promote body awareness combined with easy movements to loosen muscles and lubricate joints help to energize the body for practice.
- INSTRUCTION & PRACTICE OF TAI CHI (40 MINUTES) - After warm up, we will work on refining basic techniques, including controlled breathing, body alignment & posture, strengthening the core, foot placement, spacial orientation etc. then we will apply basic techniques to performing the basic 108 “moves" (movements) in Yang Tai Chi and combining them into short and long “Forms” (sets of movements). A great workout!!!
- RESTORATIVE YOGA FULL BODY STRETCHING (20 MINUTES) - With our muscles and joints nicely warm after 40 minutes of TAI CHI, we will transition into restorative yoga stretching that can be done using a chair or a yoga mat as we focus on longer holds and relaxing breath exercises to increase overall flexibility, release any remaining tension, bring down the heart rate and protect the muscles and joints against injury.
- RELAXING CONTEMPLATION COOL-DOWN (5 MINUTES) - We will take a moment to quietly reflect on how different our bodies feel after a healthy holistic mind-body workout, compared to before we started class! You may sit in a chair or lie down on a yoga mat as you take slow, controlled breaths. This very simple activity instantly allows you to mentally focus as you transition from a concentrated learning focus to a neutral state of mind. This is an important way to complete and harness the energy of your workout, leaving class ready to blend this energy perfectly into the rest of your day!
ADDITIONAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF TAI CHI & RESTORATIVE YOGA:
- Muscle strength. Increased upper-body and lower-body strength, along with igniting cardio activity leading to increased caloric burn. When practiced regularly, Tai Chi is comparable to resistance training and brisk walking. Regular Yoga increases core strength, body alignment and lower back support, improving overall spine health.
- Flexibility. Increased full body flexibility while detoxing internal organs and decreasing internal systemic inflammation and joint pain. Slow and deliberate movements also help to lubricate all joints resulting in improved mobility and physical endurance.
- Balance. Improved core alignment, posture, balance and stability results in a reduction in accidental falls. Studies have shown, accidental falls are the leading cause of hospitalization and death for individuals 65 years and up. “Proprioception" — the ability to sense the position of one's body in space — declines with age. TAI CHI helps train this sense, which is a function of sensory neurons in the inner ear and stretch receptors in the muscles and ligaments. It also improves muscle strength and flexibility, making it easier to recover from a slip or stumble. A "fear of falling" can also make you more likely to fall! Studies have found that TAI CHI training helps to reduce that fear!
WHAT TO WEAR & BRING TO CLASS:
- As a general rule, appropriate class attire for TAI CHI can be any loose fitting clothing, comfortable t-shirts, sweat pants, or a martial arts uniform. Avoid any tight clothing that can restrict breathing or make low stances difficult. And no long pants that can be easily be tripped on during class. Pants should also gather at the ankle.
- Footwear should be a flat-soled shoe, sneaker or yoga sock that provides a good grip for rooting.
- A yoga mat (optional) can be brought to class for the stretching & cool down exercises. Chair benches will also be made available for students who find it difficult to get down and up from the floor! Please bring a water bottle to every class to stay hydrated!