T’ai Chi Introduction

by Ernie Boxall on January 4, 2014

Welcome to my series about T’ai Chi . I saw a great quote from Lea Genders (http://www.runningwithollie.com/2013/07/active-in-fort-worth-series-fun-on.html#.Uff6yaxG3gs) “I love the idea that exercise doesn’t have to feel like exercise.” I grew up a fat kid whose saving grace was he could play a bit of football. How many of you remember the time when a game started at 10 am on Sunday and finished when the sun went down? How many of us thought that all that running was exercise?I didn’t realize it then, but we were exercising. It wasn’t boring or a chore and we were rarely stiff on Monday. So, what did we do on Monday to Friday? We went to school to play football at break time, double football for games lesson and then in the evening football training ready for two games at the weekend. A few of us managed to fit in two evenings of boxing training and a fight. “I love the idea of doing the kind of fun stuff that burns calories, that gets you moving, but has nothing to do with a formal training plan.” (lea Genders)
All of this went on until I left school at sixteen and began to play football at a more senior level where training (for me anyway, became about sweat, nausea and pain.) I was never a skillful player but I could run all day and I’d built up the ability to train hard. It was a routine I followed through pain, botched operations and further injuries until 1998 when mu body virtually gave in. I was unable to run, stiff and going downhill rapidly. Then I found T’ai Chi and two years later Shiatsu Therapy. Since that date I have practised daily alone and in classes until today where I’m working as a Personal Trainer and Corporate Wellness Practitioner at the age of 63.  I am going to talk about the weekly progress I and my friends make as we continue to gain and maintain levels of fitness we never thought possible again I’m inviting you to join us to supplement  formal training and blog about them as part of a new series: T’ai Chi Exercise. So if you’r new to exercising, looking to rehabilitate from injury or even build muscle endurance, flexibility and relaxation into your present regime these are great ways to just get out there and get moving. “And if you are reading from somewhere else on this great planet besides Kenilworth, I am sure with a quick internet search you can find similar activities and locations in your own hometown.
I will be joined by members new and old who want to add to the experience of exercise. Suddenly  people moving in harmony but, and this is the beauty of T’ai Chi, not conscious of each other particularly.

The Group

In the session we  simply “Stand Still” while we breathe quietly to bring tranquility and prepare us for the day. Then the first movements begin:
The Form
Stand: Heels comfortably apart- relax the knees-tuck the hips underrelax the shoulders and arms-tuck the chin in slightly..BREATH IN SLOWLY- BREATH OUT SLOWLY x 4

 

  1. Breath in- Breath out and rock forward-Breath in and rock back x 4
  2. Breath in and rock to the left- Breath out-rock to the right x 4
  3. Breath in open your arms slowly- weight on the left leg: Rotate right Breath out-weight on the right leg: Rotate left:
 
  1. Centre: Breath in-the arms float up-Breath out-the arms float down
  2. Gather: Breath in open your arms and draw in-Breath out and push the palms down
  3. Circle: Breath in-open your palms and circle the breath- Link your hands: Breath out and push upwards: Breath in- Centre the palms: Breath out and Circle your arms down and back to the centre x 4 (see Fig 1)

T’ai Chi exercise should always start with what I call “grounding” where my breathing and my intention are focused down through my core, my legs and feet and into the ground. This relaxes the upper body and allows for free movement.

This exercise takes about 5 minutes and all through the exercise remember to breath easily and only move within your comfortable limits.

Thanks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Conclusion                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I think that for me, and for anyone who decides to join us in the future this was/will be a  fun, inexpensive, active way of moving more easily. I think sixty minutes is the perfect amount of time, but of course if you want to learn more then our One to One sessions and Workshops are perfect programmes.

I can’t wait to get back out there! Will you do anything active this weekend? Stay tuned for more T’ai Chi adventures, and who knows, I might  see you this year.

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