Stacy Shramana

THERE was a time when tai chi was deemed an activity for hippies but people from all walks of life are now practising this Chinese martial art.

I’ve helped adults learn the moves and improve their health for more than 23 years.

My contribution to the community was acknowledged during Adult Learner Week when I was presented with an Innovative Provider Award from Te Kupenga o Manukau, a co-operative of community education facilities in Manukau. It’s the first time I had ever won an award and I was surprised just to be nominated.

Winning the award made me reflect on my vocation, spending much of my life teaching tai chi.

I started practising the routines 25 years ago when I was told I needed surgery to relieve my back problem, a spinal fusion which sounded very serious.

I came back to New Zealand from Asia and here they [doctors] were hesitant. They told me to try everything else first. I increased my commitment to tai chi and the movements eased away my tension and pain. I did not need the surgery.