After our highly forgettable spring, it’s safe to say that all of us could benefit from a little rest and relaxation. Starting in July, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is teaming up with COESA (pronounced coh-EE-sah), the learning and wellness center that recently opened in the Saratoga Spa State Park, to offer a series of tai chi and meditation classes on SPAC’s grounds, as part of an initiative to make the State Park a haven for the healing arts.
The series—intended to promote a healthy form of “togetherness”—will feature two courses, Beginner Introduction to Tai Chi and Dharma Meditation, led by Mark Tolstrup of The Tai Chi Center and Pierre Zimmerman of One Roof Saratoga, respectively. COESA has set a class size limit of 25 and provided marked spaces for socially distanced practice, so that the state’s COVID guidelines are met. As an extra precaution, attendees will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire and wear a mask at all times before and after the events.
After the cancelation of the majority of SPAC’s scheduled summer programming, the opportunity to host in-person events on the venue’s grounds is a step in the right direction for the nonprofit organization. “While the amphitheater is currently projected to remain dark all summer, we are delighted to announce the first of our in-person programs on the SPAC campus—and we are thrilled to be partnering with COESA,” says SPAC President Elizabeth Sobol. COESA Executive Director Wendy Page also expressed her excitement about the partnership. “COESA has intimately felt the impact to our local wellness practitioner base in light of world events,” says Page. “We’re thrilled to combine SPAC’s gorgeous facility and connection to the arts with COESA’s health and wellness programming to advance wellness in the Park. This partnership will aid our local practitioners and our community as we safely and mindfully move forward into our new normal.”
The tai chi classes will run from July 7-28, while the meditation ones will take place July 12 through August 30. Participants must register online 24 hours in advance of the class to reserve a spot.
See the full class schedule below.
Beginner Introduction to Tai Chi Class
Tuesdays July 7-28
10am or 5:30pm
In this course, participants will learn the basic postures, movements and breath work in addition to the first movements of the Yang style tai chi form. These techniques have many benefits for health and wellbeing including flexibility, stress reduction and balance.
Preregistration is required 24 hours in advance of class. Cost for the series is $80.
July 12 – August 30
Sundays at 9am
Dharma Meditation includes inspirational topics that support emotional, cognitive, and ethical wishes for wellbeing. This is a sitting meditation for 25 minutes with a silent break allowing people to stretch, followed by a second sitting, introduced by a brief talk. A discussion on the topic and some insights and reflections about the nature and commonality of our basic humanity is shared by attendees. This meditation is open to beginners and/or those who have been meditating for awhile.
There is no cost to attend, but a $10 donation per class is suggested. Preregistration is required by Saturday at midnight in advance of the class.
Register via email to [email protected].