I never dreamed that I would one day enjoy learning
by Barbara Chan
I never dreamed that I would one day enjoy learning Tai Chi. In my younger days, Tai Chi was a half-squatting exercise done by grandfathers and grandmothers who could only move slowly. Jogging, hiking and going to the gym were more my cup of tea.
So, after a health scare in 2009, my good friend suggested that I learn Tai Chi. He even sent me the link to Shi-fu’s website. For a few months, I ignored the e-mail but thanks to my friend’s follow-up calls, I felt guilty enough to go to the website for a quick read. After hearing that it is important to learn Tai Chi in the correct manner so as not to cause injury to your knees or to have bad qi, I decided to contact another friend who knows of a fellow church member who has been learning Tai Chi for three years from Shi-fu. So, having checked things out, I decided to give it a try for a term. Then, at least, I could honestly tell my kind-hearted friend that I did try it out.
We had to learn all the relaxing exercises which involved loosening our “kua” and relaxing our body whilst stretching, kicking, punching and also, trying to balance on one leg. I thought all these were tall orders. After all, we were all wobbly and looked like wooden soldiers then. But, as we persevered and practised, I found that these skills were important for the correct execution of the 37 steps Yang style Tai Chi Chuan.
Our instructors patiently explained the importance and relevance of each Tai Chi move before demonstrating to us how it is done. Then, whilst we practised, they would go around to check that we had the correct posture and executed the step correctly before moving on.
Tai Chi has helped me to relax, strengthen my muscles and also improve my sense of balance. I look forward to the day when I can feel the qi moving down my arms.