By Andrea Vasquez

Summer is a great time to get back on track with individual wellness and mindfulness. Practicing self-care can be difficult with all of the everyday tasks and stresses that occur, so taking time to breathe and pause everything for just an hour will do wonders for a healthy physical and mental mindset.

A couple of options to consider are the tai chi and gentle yoga courses at San Jacinto College. Tai chi focuses on relaxed movements. The postures are constantly evolving, and there are no pauses as the body moves from one posture to the next. Yoga focuses on stillness. Each posture is held for several seconds or minutes depending on which style you practice, allowing the body to fill with positive energy between movements. Both tai chi and yoga use controlled breathing and meditation to enhance the practice. Beginners and all levels of fitness and capabilities are welcome. 

“We are committed to improving and supporting the health and well-being of seniors in our community,” said Dr. Janice Sullivan, San Jacinto College Continuing and Professional Development division dean of community education. “We offer a variety of courses such as Qi Gong, tai chi, yoga, and other fitness classes that are tailored to our participants. For instance, the gentle, rhythmic movements of Qi Gong and tai chi help to reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. Our students have commented about the improvement they have experienced, including better balance and relaxation. We collaborate with institutions such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Healthy Living Matters –  Harris County Public Health, and the City of Pasadena to bring quality courses to our community. There are classes for everyone regardless of fitness level, and we offer flexible day and evening schedules.”

A recent article from took a closer look at the benefits of tai chi and yoga. Both have been cited as effective treatment for relieving pain associated with certain medical conditions. A study from Harvard Health Publishing also claimed that tai chi could benefit or improve symptoms of arthritis, high blood pressure, and Parkinson’s disease. Tai chi is also known to help improve the balance of seniors, which can help to prevent falling. The same study also found that regular yoga practice can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, relieve physical pain across the body, and alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Tai chi and gentle yoga classes are available through the San Jacinto College Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division at the Central and South Campuses. Tai chi classes begin June 3 and have a number of sessions through Aug. 26. Gentle yoga classes begin June 4 with one session running through Aug. 28. 

For more information, visit or contact the Central or South Campus CPD office at 281-542-2020.