In celebration of the Chinese New Year, St. John’s University Students and Faculty Learn Taichi, Qigong and Baduanjin from Master Shan’An Yu from China

February 14, 2020

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, Master Shan’An Yu from the Department of Physical Education at Shanghai University of Electric Power visited St. John’s University from January 27th to January 30th to educate and demonstrate the arts of Taichi, Qigong and Baduanjin to St. John’s University students, faculty and staff. Together these practices teach the harmony between people and nature as well as the link between the mind and body. 

Master Shan’An Yu spoke of his visit and the benefits of this four-day event. He said, “I have no doubt this event will improve the communication between our two universities. The Taichi and Qigong experience is an opportunity to introduce traditional customs and collaborate on long-term. We hope to help western students know that the practice of Taichi has life-long benefits to the overall health of the human body. Taichi and Qigong can assist in so many elements of life, including injury prevention. These activities safely support individuals of all ages from early youth to the elderly.” Master Yu also emphasized the importance and benefits of holding international events, such as the opportunity for cultural exchanges and understanding, in addition to collaborating on research and educational activities.

Lingen Han ‘22 said about his experience at the event, “Despite previous knowledge and experience with Taichi and Qigong, I had forgotten how good it feels and how much younger I felt after the event.” Graduate Student Kenneth Johnson ‘20 said “Taichi and Qigong offer an amazing balance of strength, focus and meditation training. I enjoyed assisting as well as participating in the festivities. Learning about another culture is always an eye-opening experience. I hope that SJU continues to allow for opportunities to communicate new ideas amongst the campus and the world.”

This event was facilitated through partnership and support of faculty and students from the College of Education and the Collins College of Professional Studies. College of Education Assistant Professor Min Wang noted how honored she felt to be able to bring Chinese culture to St. John’s University. Collins College of Professional Studies Associate Professor of Sport Management David Hedlund, said “Anytime we can introduce diversity and culture to SJU students and faculty, we are so happy for the opportunity.” Dr. Hedlund went on to say, “Beyond the health benefits and opportunity for cultural exchange, one of the best aspects was the merging of education activities and learning. Numerous students from one of Assistant Professor of Mass Communications Michael Rizzo’s broadcasting classes attended the event and reported on it for a class project. These types of hands-on experiences where students can talk to and interview international experts is a rare for students at any U.S. institution.”


By Kenneth Johnson, Project Manager, Institute of Interdisciplinary Sport Research