Persevered to stay
by Joanne Wong Siew Yeng
My perception of taichi has always been slow, relaxing and easy to learn. That's why I immediately said yes when my friend asked me to join her for taichi lessons. On the first lesson, Shifu taught us how to stand and squat. With lack of exercise, my whole body is stiff and squatting, or I should say sitting on an invisible chair, was a chore. I was already sweating from only trying to do so. At the end of the first lesson, my thigh muscles are aching and my legs are all shaky from all the warm up exercises that Shifu taught us to do.
We were told to practice the exercises at home to strenghten our muscles. Also, these warm up exercises will train and equip us with basics to learn the 37 taichi forms. Breathing exercises and meditation were also taught so that we can build up our inner "Qi", which helps in blood circulation and channeling of energy in our body.
I have persevered to stay on and learn the whole 37 forms. With continued practicing and learning, I noticed that I have gained some benefits from it. Firstly, I used to have knee pains if I walk for very long hours. I no longer have pain now. Climbing stairs is much easier with trained thigh muscles. I found that my stamina is better as I can walk a lot more during my travels and won't feel tired so easily. I can balance myself better when standing on the mrt or bus. My overall health is better as I don't fall sick as often as before. My hands and feet felt warmer with better blood circulation.