Tai Chi – Day 19
After my yoga experience, I was really looking forward to giving Tai Chi a try with Wal at Green Man Tai Chi. With all of my challenges, I try not to do too much research beforehand and go in without any preconceptions. The first thing that struck me with this class was that there were more men than women. Thinking back to my other class based activities, the only token male I have seen so far was the one I nearly kicked in Body Combat.
Wal introduced me to the group and we started with some loosening exercises. I think that "flopping" is something which does need to be practised, as my body was fighting tooth and nail to maintain some element of tenseness. We then moved onto a sequence, which joined one side of the body through to the other. They were very slow and considered movements. This was built on further and I felt a little bit like I was learning a dance routine. I think if you slowed down a 90s boyband video, (apart from the anatomy) it would be the style I seemed to be adopting.
Next up was the focus on breathing and meditation, which I really enjoyed. Being mindful of your breathing is something which is proven to improve your mood and release stress and as with yoga, I feel it’s something I’d like to explore further after the 100 challenge has finished.
We progressed onto developing the movements. A couple of minutes into this part of the class, it became apparent that my left side was way more uncoordinated than the right. The right is not good. The left is utterly useless. I started to panic. I hadn’t noticed it before but I had flashbacks to other classes and a pattern started to emerge. Has this always been the case? I made a mental note to follow that up when I got home and hoped the right side of my brain was in charge of memory retention.
Wal tried to help me with my movements, but I declared that I’d just diagnosed myself with “Left-itis” and was almost beyond help. He moved my arms around a bit and moved on. Next up was “sticky hands”. We were paired up, and led around the room with your eyes shut and your wrist resting on your partner’s hand. You followed using Tai Chi principles of movement and breathing. I was paired with a gentleman who was a good foot taller than me. Thankfully, the picture couldn’t imprint on my brain, as my eyes were shut.
Lastly, the room was divided into two, with the more experienced people on one side and me and the rest of the class on the other. We practised a movement which apparently takes a number of months to master. I had a good go at keeping up and everybody was really helpful and patient. I learnt that Tai Chi was derived from combat and the movements mirrored the blocking and punching of an opponent. It felt good to work on my breathing and I certainly came out refreshed. I even diverted on my journey home to take a picture over the moors, which I felt was very spiritual of me. Maybe the smell of incense was having an effect?
As soon as I got home, I rubbed my tummy and patted my head with one hand and then swapped to the other. Once accomplished, I went straight onto Google to diagnose my inability to coordinate on my left side. It turns out the right side of my brain controls this part of my body. I urgently looked up what the right brain controlled and what personality deficiencies this might explain. I am pleased to report that after completing an in-depth online questionnaire, both hemispheres of my brain are near enough equal and it just turns out I am rubbish at coordination!
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