OPC invites community to Mind-Body-Spirit Day

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 18, 2016


ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — The Older Persons’ Commission is giving community members of all ages, not just seniors, a chance to reconnect with their minds, bodies and spirits this weekend.

The community senior center’s first Mind-Body-Spirit Day, which will begin at 8 a.m. May 21, is a special event featuring health and wellness activities such as tai chi, yoga, and breathing and relaxation techniques. Residents of all ages from Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township are invited to sample the activities.

Matthew Spierling, head of the OPC Health and Wellness Department, said the event is a great way for people to find out more about what the OPC offers the community.

“We are always asked if grandchildren are allowed to participate in activities with our seniors, and we do not usually allow that, so this is an opportunity for them to do stuff with their family. All ages are welcome,” he said.

The day consists of four health and wellness activities, including basic yoga 8-9 a.m., slow flow yoga 9:30-10:30 a.m., Wu-style tai chi 11 a.m.-noon, and breathing and relaxation techniques 12:30-1:30 p.m. Participants can sign up for any or all of the sessions. Each session costs $10, and the price for all four is $30. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat, water and a blanket.

“The day will be really great because it will highlight some of our awesome instructors, as well as some other instructors from outside the area, and we are doing it at a time that everyone can participate — on a Saturday — so kids, grandparents and family can all come. We are really excited about it and hope we have good attendance,” Spierling said.

Wu-style tai chi class instructor John Marchewitz said he encourages families to come to the event and improve their health together.

While tai chi is offered to people of all ages and all abilities, he said there is nothing easy about it.

“It is very challenging exercise,” Marchewitz said. “It’s an exercise program that takes every muscle and joint through its full, natural range of motion. It enhances breathing, encourages circulation, improves balance. It is a whole routine.”

But Marchewitz said tai chi has incredible health benefits.

“What most people think of tai chi is slow-motion movement. It was constructed, basically, in the 13th century as a martial art, and it utilizes all sorts of moving postures. They have two different purposes — all the different moving postures have health benefits, and they have defensive benefits. It’s a very complete type of art form,” he explained.

For more information, visit www.opcseniorcenter.org; to pre-register, call (248) 608-0251. The OPC is located at 650 Letica Drive in Rochester.