In a fusion of Scottish and Chinese tradition, a piper welcomed a spectacular 25 metre long Chinese dragon into the new Taoist Tai Chi Centre on Marionville Road, Edinburgh. In front of 700 participants from 25 countries, Kenny MacAskill MSP welcomed the new centre and the health benefits brought by Taoist Tai Chi, saying, “Scotland is a better place for those who have come and shown us a different way of life. I know the great good it does, in making people fitter, better, healthier, wiser and more relaxed, and I’m grateful to the work with the medical profession in improving quality of life, particularly in those recovering.”
The Deputy Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Deirdre Brock, thanked the Taoist Tai Chi Society on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council for bringing the former supermarket back to a vibrant life, saying, ‘Taoist Tai Chi is a fantastic global volunteer organisation… and we are delighted that Edinburgh is now part of that international community, and we can now benefit from its many activities.’
The representative of the Consulate General of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Degang Wan, welcomed the new centre, and described how Tai Chi and Taoism were deeply rooted in Chinese culture, and described how they promoted harmony on many levels . Marsha Eberhardt, President of the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism, described the foundations laid by the Society’s founder, Taoist monk Master Moy Lin-shin, whose focus was on helping others, and compassion. Professor Karen Laughlin, President of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society, spoke about how Taoist Tai Chi improved the health of the local community, which would help reduce the burden on the healthcare system
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Kenny MacAskill, the Deputy Lord Provost, and councillors Ron Cairns and Stefan Tymkewycz tried the first few moves of Taoist Tai Chi on the stage, led by David Blanchard, a director of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Great Britain.
Health from every angle
There was plenty of opportunity to witness the beauty of the Taoist Tai Chi sequence of 108 movements. Although calming and graceful to watch, the true focus of Taoist Tai Chi is to improve physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Tai Chi, practiced for centuries in the East, is now so firmly established as a beneficial exercise that it is recommended by doctors and physiotherapists for many health conditions, and Dr Andrew Kirby described the work the Taoist Tai Chi Society has done in association with NHS providers across the country for the last two decades, and how people of all levels of health have experienced a wide range of physical, psychological and social benefits. Our unique volunteer organization is a registered charity in the UK.
New beginners classes are started regularly all over the country, see www.taoist.org.uk