Exercise for Couples: The Ying and Yang of Qi Gong and Tai Chi

by Mary E. King

Sometimes it is difficult for couples to find exercises to do together.

Many women might look at a hockey equipment bag with dread, and many men might look at a yoga mat with panic.  Stereotypes surround all types of activities, and it can be a delicate negotiation to find just the right match between a couple and an activity.  Yet the benefits of participating in a shared activity are multifold:  the practical benefits of being able to come and go at the same time, in the same vehicle; the shared experience of meeting the same people in a certain group, and the common vocabulary one develops from doing an activity together.

One pass-time that might suit a married couple is the Qi Gong – Tai Chi combination, a mix of gentle stretches and movement drawn from martial arts.   In the oriental tradition, Ying is the feminine energy form and Yang is the masculine, a seemingly natural combination that are necessary components of this form of ‘moving meditation’. 

Here are some accounts of this discipline from local couples, in their own words:

“Tai chi and Qi gong are low impact exercises that couples can do together.   In just one hour, one can exercise every muscle … and find inner peace.  When peaceful music is played while you exercise, it can add to the overall feeling of wellness.  A person can find Qi Gong anywhere.   We participate in practicing it when we are in Miramichi, and when we are in California too.”  – (Bill and Dana Gunn)

“Any exercising done together with a spouse or a friend, is always a lot more fun and enjoyable.  When practicing Qi Gong exercises and Tai Chi movements together, you are now able to help and encourage each other as you progress.  Another excellent benefit of Tai Chi and Qi Gong is the positive energy your body creates, helping to keep both of you happy and healthy. This positive energy can also be used to help those who feel unwell or are in hospital, as this energy can be harnessed and sent to this individual.  Jill has been practicing Tai Chi and Qi Gong for 11 years now and feels re-energized after each session, while Mike is new to this gentle form of Martial Art, but thoroughly enjoys it!” – (Mike and Jill Sharp)

Above: Instructor Dave Bucklow with students Mary King (left) and Jill Sharp (right).

“My wife and I have been attending Tai Chi classes for the past 4 years.  Over this time, we have met many interesting people, and enjoyed the health benefits from the Qi Gong (warm up exercises) as well as the Tai Chi moves.  The former are a set of gentle stretches, the latter are prescribed moves that focus on flowing poses and stances that enhance balance, breathing, and core strength.  In the summer, students of all levels gather at Ritchie Wharf where blue skies and fresh air enrich the class.

Indoor classes in the winter at the Golden Hawk Recreation Centre range from Beginners to Intermediate to Advanced.  Attendees choose the level that best suits their needs.  With no special skills or equipment required, it is easy to practise the Qi Gong exercises at home or on holiday, and we have both found whether in class or on our own, this is a great way to get energized for the day.

We are both very appreciative of Dave Bucklow’s contribution to the community, sharing his knowledge and Tai Chi expertise.  Not only does he impart this knowledge for free, but also welcomes new members of any age with enthusiasm and patient, attentive instruction.” – (Brian & Charlotte Loggie)

New members are always welcome. For more information visit www.taichidave.ca or contact Dave Bucklow at 506-622-7124 or

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