As part of the National Park Service’s “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” initiative, the Acadian Cultural Center will host free Qigong exercise classes led by certified instructor Dennis Wise on the first Saturday of the month beginning April 1. The classes will begin at 8:00 a.m. and end by 9:00 a.m. and will be held outside on the center’s scenic grounds. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and bring a water bottle. The Acadian Cultural Center of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is located at 501 Fisher Road in Lafayette. For more information, call 337-232-0789 ext. 201 or visit www.nps.gov/jela.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intention. The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words: qi is pronounced “chee” and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe; “gong” means accomplishment or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Wise teaches Qigong and Pilates in Lafayette and has been teaching for 20 years. He studied under Dr. John Jester at the Yamuni Institute of Healing Arts and received his certification to teach Qigong in 2004. His direction in the art of Qigong is to practice being present and mindful without the clutter of thought.
The Acadian Cultural Center is managed by the National Park Service as part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. The center is open Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m.-noon. The center is closed on federal holidays and Mardi Gras. The film “The Cajun Way; Echoes of Acadia” is shown hourly beginning at 9:00 a.m., with the last showing at 3:00 p.m. Rangers present a short talk at 2:45 p.m. The center also features exhibits and programs on the history and cultures of south Louisiana. Admission to the center and for most center programs is free. Group tours are available by reservation. Call the Acadian Cultural Center at 337-232-0789 ext. 11 or visit www.nps.gov/jela.