I talked to my brother Dan a few weeks ago and he mentioned again how much he enjoys taking tai chi classes every Monday night. He's been doing it for about a year after my sister-in-law Connie dragged him to a class, and he quickly became hooked. He told me it's really incredible how it has made him more flexible, more balanced, and able to put the practices of calm and relaxed into everyday use. He was a skeptic turned believer. He urged me again to try out tai chi.
Well, the only place I can find tai chi is at my Y, and it's at a time when I can't make it to the gym. Plus, I have no idea where they're at in the class, since this class runs year round. So I was resigned to using a few DVDs at home.
Last week, I got an email from a local yoga studio that is now offering beginning tai chi classes on Thursday nights for 6 weeks. After discussing it with Bud, I signed up and had my first class last night.
I think I'm going to like this a lot. For someone so uncoordinated, I'm a little concerned about getting the movements down, but our teacher is very patient and great at explaining everything. I know this is going to help me find calm in moments of stress, and learn techniques to help me relax my body. I'm looking forward to the rest of the classes, and I hope--fingers crossed--that I can continue with this after the first 6 week class is over. I wonder how it will effect my running...I will be the crazy runner making all sorts of wave gestures with my arms. But I will be calm and relaxed :)
That's my freaked out challenge. I hate going to places where I don't know anyone, and pushed myself to do this. Luckily, it's a very small class--only 6 of us, and that helps. And even better--no one there feels the need to dress in expensive work out clothes and show off! Plus we have great bliss music to listen to, and it smells wonderful in the studio. It's a small space and that makes me more comfortable than a huge, impersonal room. Plus, there's a shop in front of the studio, so I can walk around and imagine buying everything I want if I had won the lottery. Let's just say the shop would be emptied out pretty quick.
Yep, I went out in the bitter, angry cold night to get my tai chi groove on. It was worth it. I learned that there are many different kinds of tai chi, some quite physical; my class is concentrating on the relaxing type of tai chi. After a day of lifting heavy boxes, my lower back really ached. After the class, and a few simple moves, it felt better. Of course now this class has stirred the curiosity in me to read more about tai chi, read more about the mind-body connection, and pick up my meditation beads and start a 40 day mantra. Ohmmmmmm.