Philosophy professor shows students and faculty how to reduce stress with tai chi


Nicole Goodie

Philosophy professor Rick Schubert guides students and faculty through a 50 minute tai chi session on March 2.

On Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, the Winn Center community room transforms into a place of peace, silence and good energy.

Rick Schubert, philosophy professor and coordinator of the center for the advancement of staff and student learning teaches a free, obligation-free tai chi course as one of his event series as coordinator.

“Professors forget that you’re like humans,” said Schubert. “It’s sort of like you’re an intellectual receptacle and they’re going to drop the knowledge into you and you’re going to drop it back in the final exam.”

He said that sometimes in education, important things are forgotten such as breathing properly, eating, sleeping and relaxing once in awhile.

Schubert said as CASSL coordinator he was able to put together multiple event series, including the tai chi class which is part of his holistic health series that promotes holism in education.

Math Professor Brandon Muranaka said that when Cosumnes River College thinks about supporting its students, the conversation is typically focused on how they can better support students academically, socially and financially.

“I think we do forget about an aspect of health support,” said Muranaka. “Even though with the health center and the college nurse, I think there’s another aspect which is this particular blend of the mental, the physical and even the spiritual sense that sometimes we miss to help manage the stress.”

Schubert said this year he wanted to make students more apart of the CASSL initiative. His tai chi class is often a mix of different CRC staff and students.

“It’s nice to be humans together,” Schubert said.

Schubert is a career martial artist who has been practicing martial arts since he was 6-years-old and teaching southeast Asian movement systems for over 30 years. He is a hapkido, a Korean martial art, instructor at the UC Davis experimental college.

He said he wanted to help to prevent students from getting wrapped up in the day-to-day and help manage their stress.

“I wanted to do something integrative, something that brings body and mind together because so much of what we do academically is so disintegrating,” Schubert said. “It’s just so intellectual and disembodied.”

Art History Professor Trinity Stanio is a regular in Schubert’s tai chi class.

“It’s an odd combination of relaxed and energized,” said Stanio. “It’s relaxing, it’s great for my mind, but it energizes me with the deep breathing to continue on with my day’s tasks.”

Schubert said “there is something amazing and wonderful about being a college student” that can be lost when trying to handling large amounts of stress.

“Teaching tai chi is way of sharing a similar tool for stress management,” Schubert said.

The tai chi classes are held in Winn 150 on Wednesday’s from 12 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. and on Thursday’s from 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.