Snow falling outside the big window in Rosemount Middle School's multi-purpose room provides a serene setting for the small group gathered on a Saturday morning. The soothing music coming from a CD player at the front of the room helps, too.
Everyone seems soothed. They move gradually from one position to another. They twist their bodies and shift their weight from foot to foot as instructor Linda Ebeling calls out instructions.
It looks a little bit like karate practice held underwater.
It's tai chi, and the group that showed up Saturday got a sneak peek at a community education course Ebeling will offer Mondays and Saturdays starting Jan. 26.
Ebeling got involved in tai chi, an ancient Chinese form of exercise and meditation, two years ago when she hurt her back. The slow-motion movements participants make can help increase strength and flexibility and help people relax. There is also some evidence it can help with arthritis and diabetes.
"It's just a type of exercise I really enjoy," Ebeling said. "It's a nice complement to other things I do."
For more information about the classes, go to district196.org/ce.