“Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee” – Jeremiah 32:17
I love to take walks on the beach; my tired feet pressing against the grains of sand, toes sinking gently into the earth while sensing the rolling movement massaging my footing that leaves behind an imprint.
The ocean roars with its mighty force to the shore. At times, the salty water thrusts against my legs; I ground myself and the ocean flows back again in retreat while tickling my ankles. The cool air blows my hair while the sun warms my skin and through these opposing forces, I am at peace.
The rhythmic force of nature helps me to realize my internal force. In the practice of Tai Chi, the focus is on being in the state of non-resistance and being a part of the universe, the grand energy that fills all thing. The self disappears while doing slow movements, harmonizing opposites, inhaling and exhaling, pulling in new energy and pushing out old energy. Youthfulness and longevity is attained by opening a space for this healing and nurturing.
Appreciating the beauty of nature and God’s creations is a prayerful meditation. The giving and receiving in life is a blessing.
Research shows that being social and sharing is beneficial to your health. At Kaiser Permanente where I am on-staff as a Lifestyle Educator, I find much satisfaction in teaching fitness skills to my class participants. I currently teach Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and Dance exercise classes at our facilities in Panorama City and in Santa Clarita
Two sisters from my Tai Chi classes have eagerly given me permission to post their testimony:
“We began our Sessions in January 2012 and still plan to continue as an ongoing health and fitness motivator. Maria has inspired and given us the knowledge and encouragement to deal with the many health issues that has kept us from joining other forms of exercise programs.
Records show I have a history of chronic Asthma among other things. Since being in her class, my breathing has improved immensely, stress level is to a minimum and the usage of my Nebulizer has decreased.
My sister, Kathleen Hyson was diagnosed with 3 bulging discs in her back and a torn Meniscus in both knees. Last year, before coming to Kaiser Permanente’s Tai Chi Fitness classes, doctors recommended surgery for both knees. Today, no surgeries are scheduled and back and knees are improving weekly.
In addition to the other benefits obtained, we almost reached our goal of losing twenty pounds each!!
We thank God, Kaiser Permanente and Maria for helping us in developing our mind, body & spirit; and staying focused in a healthier lifestyle.
Sincerely, Teresa Alderete and Kathleen Hyson”
It was so sweet of Teresa (Teri) and Kathleen to share their personal stories. I’m happy to report that many of my Tai Chi participants are improving their fitness and health. They are living my motto, ‘You Got The Power’ by using their individual power to select the movements to help them in their daily lives.
For instance, Dawn, a retired seamstress, in her late 70’s finds it easier to bend down and pick things up off the floor. Holly, a bus driver, in her mid 40’s practices Tai Chi stretches in between her driving shifts. Mary, a hairdresser in her late 60’s does some Tai Chi arm movements with deep breathing before she gets out of bed in the morning. Harvey, a widower in his early 90’s looks forward to Tai Chi fitness because of the class camaraderie. Joan, who uses a walker in her late 60’s has found better balance and mobility. Renate and Richard are both in their early 70’s; Renate does Tai Chi to de-stress and Richard is starting to control his Diabetes with less medication. Exercise is the ‘Fountain of Youth.’
All of you are a blessing to me!
Remember to make a space for goodness to flow into your life,
Maria Lauren, (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio
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Relax-n-Renew CD: Visualizations, Breathing Meditations and Music Therapy
This is a personal blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.