Day 149: Tai Chi

I’ve always been fascinated with Tai Chi and was super excited when I saw that The Yoga Loft was offering a free intro class! This was the same place I went for the belly dancing class, and I knew that it was good quality. Images of senior citizens doing slow, fluid movements in a field entered my mind. You know like in those commercials you always see on TV? Well, I was sure this was the beginning of my commercial. My big break into the world of Tai Chi.

An hour after the class started, I walked out of the building with a huge smile on my face, however, I wasn’t smiling because I had learned some awesome Tai Chi movements. I was smiling because the full extent of movement that I did in the hour-long class was re-crossing my legs on the couch I had been sitting on. Yes, that’s right- the entire class consisted of the instructor telling us the history and benefits of Tai Chi, and showing us some movements. But did we get to practice a single one? No.

I can’t really complain though. (Other than to say my earlier worry over appropriate Tai Chi-class attire was a waste of time.) I wanted to learn Tai Chi, and that is exactly what I did. Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art based off of animal movements. Like the instructor told us, it takes 10 years to finally say you aren’t a beginner. It’s a very slow learning process that involves so much of the mind, that this class was a true introduction to the art. By the end of the class I felt like my brain had leaped off the high jump diving board, so deep was it in thought. OK, that was a ridiculous metaphor, but you get the point. This slow and detailed introduction was an exact representation of what the martial art was.

Now I certainly can’t fault the instructor. She was so fascinating! Picture a really skinny woman (she said 110 lbs) with a super short boy-cut haircut, wearing thin-rimmed glasses and swamped in a short-sleeved black shirt tucked into pants that made her look like she had no butt. (She probably didn’t!) But she was beautiful! In her own way, she was so captivating and was so passionate about Tai Chi that I couldn’t help but want to sign myself up for a year of Tai Chi! (Being the smarty that I am, I scooted out right after the class ended so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend money I don’t have.)

My favorite part of the class was when our instructor told us that the Tai Chi she teaches is based primarily off of Crane-like movements. She then proceeded to show us one of them. (Her arms came up into the air, her head stuck out, and her right leg bent up, coming off of the floor.) I almost laughed, so great were her resemblances to the actual bird itself.

It was an awesome introduction to Tai Chi, and I am totally ready to begin.

Hey Kitty, I might call you up sometime for a Tai Chi party!

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