Tai Chi crossed my path and follows me since
by Brigitte Lichtenberger
Since almost one and half years I have the honour to get Tai Chi lessons from the very experienced Master Rennie Chong and I feel that it will take me to a life long journey to improve. The first time I saw people doing Tai Chi it looked like gymnastics for "older" folks. I smiled and continued with my running training. I know now that I was completely wrong. It would be the best to start in young age to achieve a high level and understand it completely. The combination of body and mind will improve or maintain your health by balancing the Yin and Yang in your body and mind. To learn the sequence of the 37 Steps and some of the theory was the easier part. Unfortunately a lot of people stop at this stage and think they do proper Tai Chi. But then the journey really starts with learning the precise positions of the body (Tai Chi comes from Martial Arts) and the Yin and Yang in the movements and in your mind. From a physiotherapist perspective the positions of the joints in each movement are very economical for the body and biomechanical optimal to prevent any damages. For me as a physiotherapist it's very interesting to analyse the different movements and finding a lot of similarities of exercises we teach in the clinic. I think that sometimes I annoy Master Rennie with all my questions about the exact position or technique. The most difficult part for me is still to have the correct balance between Yin and Yang (for example: soft - firm, relax - be alert) in the movements. This will keep me challenged for the next couple of years together with bringing the body positions closer to perfectionism. If you come to a higher level you will feel the body and mind merging and your energy (chi) flows optimal in your body. After a Tai Chi session I feel exhausted and at the same time energised (Yin and Yang) and very calm. It’s nice to do Tai Chi in a group to give you extra energy from the social aspect, but if you really like to achieve a higher level you need to take private lesson in my opinion. In our more and more becoming digital world Tai Chi would be helpful for everybody to keep healthy in mind and body from young age.
I would like to thank Master Rennie Chong and also teacher Jaleen Ho for all their knowledge they are sharing while teaching, keeping their humour and perseverance and always being patient with me.