Guest Blogger Keith Spiro and Tai Chi at Topsham Public Library

As part of the summer reading program at Topsham Public Library, Tai Chi was offered on Saturday morning July 1 and July 8. Library Champion (and Official Photographer), Keith Spiro was one of the participants and he has written this week’s blog about his experience. Thank you, Keith!

With soft meditative music in the background, nearly a dozen of us gather on the brick patio behind the Topsham Public Library for an introductory lesson in Tai Chi.

We focus on the three basic conditions: Mind, Breath and Posture.

We learn to transfer energy by gathering fresh energy from the sky and ground while breathing in and exchanging out the stale as we exhale.

Tai Chi and Qugong have been prevalent in China for thousands of years. They are key to self-care in Chinese medicine and are used to increase vitality and inner peace. The practice of Tai Chi can also be a lovely way to loosen up your muscles and start the day.  The smooth fluid motions fit delightfully with the background music and being outside, we felt the light slightly cool breeze and bright sunshine. The new patio allowed a choice of sunshine or shade at that 9a.m. start time.

Our guide, Robin Brooks, directed us to take in a full awareness of ourselves as we traced our own energy across our body along the energy channels. She has come back to Tai Chi after first practicing it many years earlier. While there are 108 movements, she now practices a form of easy Tai Chi. Actually, there is even teacher certification for it as Tai Chi Easy™ as taught by a fellow in Santa Barbara California. His method makes it immediately easy, beneficial and probably of growing value in rehab and long term care venues.

For all of us that morning, it was a fast and fun introduction to the practice of Tai Chi. With concentration, I really could feel the energy in my hands while holding a Tai Chi ball.  The fluidness of motion was easy on my barely awake body as I gently stretched muscles and tendons.

I found it quite pleasant to be gathered as a group going through the practice and motions while paying attention to my posture and energy.

Big thanks to the Topsham Public Library and Robin Brooks for giving us the opportunity to learn something new – while showing off the new space outside the library walls. Topsham Public Library truly is a community center for everyone.

Re-printed with permission from