Senior Tai Chi Balance Classes seeking volunteers

Want to help your community while also helping yourself? Then consider becoming one of RSVP’s trained, certified Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance instructors.

Training for new volunteer instructors is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 12 and 13. The program provides active retirees a way to serve their community through teaching the free classes while also improving their own balance and staying fit.

The two-day training, led by the Master Trainer, will be held in Camarillo, but volunteers can teach in any of Oxnard RSVP’s 12-week classes in the four west county cities served (Oxnard, Camarillo, Ventura and Pt. Hueneme).

After training, volunteers must practice at least 30 hours before being certified to teach; often those trained practice together for support. Attendance at quarterly in-services will be required of volunteers.

No experience is necessary, but volunteers must be age 55 or older and make a six-month commitment to teach three hours per week. Since instructors work as teams, time away for illness or short vacations is possible.

For more information on the instructor training or to make an appointment to be interviewed for the position, please call 805-385-8023. There are currently three Ventura classes and two each in Oxnard and Camarillo.

A federal grant received by the City of Oxnard and its RSVP program funds the free exercise classes, which follow curriculum developed at the Oregon Research Institute (in Oregon) where studies showed improved strength and balance, increased mobility and reduced incidence of falls among seniors who participated in the classes.

Classes consist of a core eight-form routine of Yang-style Tai Chi with built-in exercise variations. It teaches participants balance skills and good body alignment by using coordinated and flowing movements. The classes are intended for adults age 60 and older who can walk easily with or without assistive devices.

RSVP is a volunteer recruitment and placement program, helping people 55 and older find volunteer positions that match their interests, talent and available time.  The Oxnard RSVP has almost 575 members and is sponsored by the City of Oxnard.  To learn more about being an RSVP member or to discuss other volunteer opportunities, call 805-385-8023.

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