World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Celebrated in Israel
On Friday, dozens of teachers and students of various martial artsschools gathered in Jerusalem’s Wohl Rose Park to celebrate World TaiChi & Qigong Day.
These ancient Chinese practices for body and mind attract both fitness fans and spiritual seekers.
Marek Wajsman, who has been practicing for over 26 years, organized the event in Jerusalem.
[Marek Wajsman, Tai Chi, Aikido and Qigong Teacher]:
“In the whole world it is an amazing event, I do it every year. It’sjust people from all over the world, every year, at the sametime, gathering together, doing some exercise, some simple movement. Itis not necessary to get very complicated in this verysophisticated world. We can just stand under a tree and do a fewstretches, a few soft movements, feel good and start the day."
According to a Harvard Medical Health Publication, practicing Tai Chi brings many health benefits.
[Dr. Dani Kahn, Clinical Psychologist]:
“These days more and more people are seeing articles come out, moreand more research papers from very reputable Westernmedicine demonstrating how the Tai Chi forms and the Tai chi workoutsare extremely good for balance and blood pressure and for generalhealth. Something about this very ancient Chinese system seems to havetapped into something that’s really just very wonderful for people."
Eliko Cohen teaches a type of Qigong called “The Five Animal Play."
[Eliko Cohen, Teacher, Five Animal Play Qigong]:
“The system is developed by an ancient Chinese teacher called HuaTuo. He was looking at animals and he took movements from animals andtranslated it to the language of the human being’s movement…When youpractice the tiger you need to feel like a tiger. You imagine you are atiger in a field. After practicing the tiger you practice you’re adeer. So you need to find inside yourself the place of the deer. Or theplace of the monkey. He is very fast."
The highlight of the event was the Chinese Lion Dance. Zachy, a Kung Fu Teacher, explains the purpose of the show.
[Zachy, Master, White Crane Kung Fu]:
“The three main things are: to banish the bad spirits, make thepeople happy, and to give them abundance. So it’s a bigcelebration, you can hear the gongs and drums."
Also here are practitioners of Falun Gong – a peaceful meditation practice.
[Vadim Berestetsky, Falun Gong Practitioner]:
“Falun Gong practice is an ancient practice whose origin is inChina, and based on the principles Truthfulness, Compassion,Forbearance. The main point of the practice is not only to do theexercise practice but to improve your personality, to become a betterperson, to try to behave according to the principles Truthfulness,Compassion, Forbearance."
According to the official World Tai Chi Day website, one of thepurposes of this day is to thank the Chinese people for these valuablegifts they brought to the world.
NTD News, Jerusalem.
Reporters: Rani Shoket & Robby Blonder
Photography: Rani Shoket