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Healthy choices this week: Tai chi, Zumba and a yoga-inspired Winter Solstice Celebration tonight

Fitness classes, dance and a celebration of the winter solstice are among the health, exercise and nutritional events leading up to family celebrations on Christmas weekend.

Here are my top 10 picks of the week, culled from the WNY Refresh Calendar:


Tai chi: 9:30 a.m., Jewish Community Center of Buffalo, 787 Delaware Ave.; also 11:30 a.m., and 11:15 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jewish Community Center Benderson Family Building, 2640 N. Forest Road, Amherst. Nonmembers can participate by purchasing a 10-class pass for $59.

International Folk Dance: 10 a.m. Monday, Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Ave. For info, call 816-5049. $2.

Winter Solstice Celebration: Yoga Parkside "Festival of Light!" event starts at 5 p.m., Parkside Lutheran Church, 2 Wallace Ave., with a candlelight ceremony and shared yogic practice in all three of studios to mark the longest night of the year. Classes will be offered by Rebecca Sophia Strong, Jennifer Russo and Spencer James. A community potluck meal will follow at 6:15 p.m., and following that will be a Kirtan – yogic call and response chanting – as well as storytelling and dancing. Donations are gratefully accepted during this family friendly event,
The event will benefit the WNY Climate Justice Coalition and its upcoming events to raise local awareness around the United Nations COP21 Paris Climate Talks and to organize just climate action in the region. See more info at

Gentle yoga: Slow (foundational) Vinyasa yoga, 6 p.m., Shakti Yoga, 133 Grant St. $10; also 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Shatki Yoga. For more info, visit $12; gentle yoga at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont St. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Body Glyphix Studio, 12377 Big Tree Road, Wales. $12.

Food Addicts in Recovery: 7 p.m., Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road, Amherst; also 7 p.m. Wednesday, Room 3043, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, 2950 Elmwood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.


Zumba: 9 a.m.,  St. John’s Lutheran Church, 3512 Clinton St., West Seneca. For info, call 829-9314. $5; also, Zumba by Bobby at 8 a.m. Sunday., Buffalo Seminary, 205 Bidwell Parkway. First class free, $5 per class or 10 classes for $40. For more info, visit;

Stroke Support: 2 p.m., Kenmore Mercy Hospital, 2950 Elmwood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

Northtowns Parkinson’s Caregiver Support: 3 p.m., The Meadows at Weinberg Campus, 2650 N. Forest Road, Amherst. For more info, call 449-3795.


Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS): 9 a.m., Cheektowaga Recreation Center, 2600 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga. For more info, call 895-4414.

Healthy Living class: 10 a.m., St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 205 Longmeadow Road, Amherst.


Twitter: @BNrefresh, @ScottBScanlon


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