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You can learn the art of T'ai Chi with a sword on Whidbey Island

There are health and healing benefits to swinging a sword around

WHIDBEY ISLAND STATION, Wash. — EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video was originally shot in July 2019.

If you're ever walking around Casey State Park on Whidbey Island and see people swinging swords around, don't be alarmed. That's Lynne Donnelly's T'ai Chi class.

There are several forms of the relaxing "moving meditation." Lynne teaches the "saber" form, traditionally called T'ai Chi Dao. 

"I teach because T'ai Chi is a great thing for your health," Lynne said. 

It's popular for being a meditative activity, but it's also been proven to better balance, reduce stress, increase flexibility and more. And almost everyone can do it as long as you go in with a positive mindset. 

"We all have Chi in us, it's our lifeforce energy," Lynne continued, "If you're alive, you have Chi."

Using the sword, or saber, is an added benefit to practicing T'ai Chi.

"It's an extension of your Chi, your energy. It allows you to really feel it spread out," Lynne said, "And it's just fun to swing a sword around."

Being in a large outdoor space with the sabers adds to the overall experience. It allows everyone to better connect themselves with the environment.

"Nature, the earth, the land, the sea, the mountains, the sun," said Lynne, "It's good for my brain."

Although it may look intimidating, Lynne assures that it's not.

"It's not hard. If you can stand and shift your weight from foot to foot, you can learn T'ai Chi."

Lynne teaches T'ai Chi at her studio in Freland and Coupeville. For the class schedule and more info, visit her website

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