Tai Chi and I
by Lim Geat Choo
I started learning Taiji from Master Rennie Chong about 3 years ago. 3 years may seem a long time but I am still a novice. I used to join the yoga classes conducted at the Toa Payoh Sports Council and during those time when I had class on Monday, I was amazed at the big crowd from all age groups learning Taiji. While I have enjoyed yoga, I find that there are certain postures which are not suitable for me and difficult to follow. So together with my friend, we decided to give Taiji a try for a change.
Taiji is suitable for me as it is an exercise that is not too rigorous like aerobics and it is appealing to all people, young and old, male and female and no special tools or equipments is required. Taiji is also convenient to practise as it can be done at your own time and indoor or outdoor.
After learning Taiji for some time, I realized that it is more difficult than I initially thought. Also it is not just about getting the postures right. There are a lot more to learn about Taiji in both the practical and theoretical aspects eg the principles of Taiji, breathing, balancing, calmness of mind, etc. In addition, given our busy and stressful lifestyle, it is indeed challenging for me to find time to practise and improve myself. However I am glad that I have preserved on until today. In fact I look forward to the class on every Monday as I find it enjoyable and a good way to de-stress. I will definitely continue to learn and to improve myself. Also I hope to have the discipline and to find time to practise on my own. Besides just being an exercise and a form of relaxation, I find that my health has improved over time, particularly in terms of stamina, breathing (“qi”), relieving fatique. I believe practicing Taiji has also helped me in controlling my headaches and giddy spell. These are just my personal experience, there are of course many more health benefits from Taiji. I have read that Taiji promotes deep breathing, digestion, the functioning of the internal organs, and blood circulation. Taiji can also “relieve, if not actually cure, neurasthenia (a condition with symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, headache, neuralgia and depressed mood), high blood pressure, anemia, tuberculosis, and many other maladies.
In conclusion, anyone interested to know the secret for youthfulness, health, long life and peace of mind should learn Taiji. Taiji is a wonderful source of relaxation and well-being. In fact, Taiji has been the exercise that millions of people have been practicing for centuries for the rejuvenation and prolongation of life.