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My first ever tai chi class

Where to begin? Perhaps I will take a page from Julie Andrews and "start at the very beginning". It is, after all, a very fine place to start.

My teacher, Morris, is a very grounded sort of guy - retired teacher, retired nurse, certified and licensed tai chi instructor and also a hypnotist. No, really - it's part of the credentials he listed off at the start of class. All I know is that when, during class, he assured us in his calm manner that "everything you do will result in success", I believed him - whether that's hypnotism or not, I don't much care.

Morris instructed each of us to keep a journal, which I knew to expect from the meeting about this 12-week program I'm undertaking (I have to keep one for my upcoming yoga class as well). Thank goodness I have Bruce Black's marvelous Writing Yoga to prompt me along. (I reviewed Bruce's book a week or so ago.) We were also instructed to select a mantra for use during meditation, and then, after a short Q & A, we started with a few minutes of meditation, followed by warm-up exercises, many of which appear to be actual tai chi moves (or parts thereof).

Then more Q & A and meditation, and then we started to learn the form we'll be using. Morris demonstrated the entire thing, and it's pretty - so fluid and controlled - although it doesn't involved nearly as many "balance on one foot" moves as the forms I'm used to seeing people practice. Then again, this is a class for people with fibromyalgia, and is therefore intended to be less rigorous than standard tai chi, which I am probably going to try out as well, since we get one "free" session per week during our twelve week program.

After his demo, Morris taught us the first three moves, which we are to practice for 90 seconds at a time, several times each day, until the next class.

I can hardly wait. Of course, before I get back to this class, I've got yoga. And now, I have a bit of journaling to do.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
robinellen
Apr. 11th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
I guess I've never thought of tai chi as vigorous, but my MIL often says it can be. How does it compare to yoga?
kellyrfineman
Apr. 11th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
It's not really any more vigorous than yoga, although once you learn the form, it's a lot of continuous flowing movement from one position to the next, so even though gentle, it tends to move constantly. Still, the balance positions I've seen people doing in tai chi seem less rigorous than, say, "tree" pose in yoga. And I don't know about you, but some yoga classes (and some poses) are entirely sweat-inducing for me, they take so much muscle control and concentration.

What tai chi and yoga have in common is a peaceful sense to them, and a sort of spiritual/meditative vibe. I'm pretty sure you'd enjoy tai chi if you like yoga.
dotificus
Apr. 11th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Cool! I've only done Tai Chi on the Kinect, but it's definitely more strenuous than yoga. At least, that version.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 12th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
This particular class is somewhat gentler, and adapted to instruct a bunch of people with fibromyalgia, but it's not any tougher than most yoga classes I've done (overall). That said, you have to move almost continuously, which is in some ways more strenuous than yoga.
wordsrmylife
Apr. 12th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
Sounds like a lovely class. I love my weekly yoga class, which is why I'm so sorry I've had to miss so many, for one reason or another.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 12th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
I have yoga starting on Thursday. It's gonna be great - and I'm hoping to stop in on other tai chi and/or yoga classes.
angeladegroot
Apr. 12th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
I've always wanted to try Tai Chi. It's relaxing to watch others do it, so I can only imagine how much I would benefit from the practice.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 12th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
I think you'd really like it.
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Apr. 12th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
I believe you're correct.
boreal_owl
Apr. 12th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
This sounds great! I think a modified version of tai chi might be suitable for me, too. Thanks!
kellyrfineman
Apr. 12th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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