The Yin And The Yang

I finally did it.

Tai Chi.

Yin and Yang.

WikiPedia has it listed as –

“Often shortened to t’ai chi, taiji or tai chi in English usage, T’ai chi ch’uan or tàijíquán is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also typically practiced for a variety of other personal reasons: its hard and soft martial art technique, demonstration competitions, and longevity. As a result, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some training forms of t’ai chi ch’uan are especially known for being practiced with relatively slow movement”

To be honest this just about sums it up. Apart from the fact mine was taught in a very quaint village hall to a very small group and I was probably the youngest one there by a good twenty years minimum.

When I arrived I found the very lovely Goring Heath Parish Hall to be like something from an episode of “The Darling Buds Of May” where the Women’s Institute would regularly convene for their weekly meetings and discuss jam recipes, village fetes and more. On Saturday mornings however, it appears to be reserved for something with much more Eastern Promise to be practised by believers of the healing capabilities of the mysteries of the Orient. I was first to arrive having misjudged the time required for travelling to this remote little village but soon I noticed other cars appearing although the all had one thing in common, all of their occupants were ladies and all bar one had grey hair!

“Uh oh! What have I gotten myself into here I thought….?”

Well it turns out a very friendly small group of ladies, with a very knowledgeable instructor at the front. We were soon in the hall and in no time we were being instructed on how we should be loosening up for the second part of the lesson. We spent a great deal of time moving our arms, opening our spines, lifting our legs whilst rotating shoulders and wrists.

To be honest, this itself was tiring enough because after 45 minutes of supposed “gentle” exercise in order to warm up I knew I had been working. We were then put into two small groups (three in each will tell you how small the class was) and helped each other with any of the exercises we found difficult. It was here that I found out about my co pupils and one lady in particular who is well into her seventies. She told me that before taking up Tai Chi a couple of years before she had been unable to bend her ankles in anyway so walking was difficult, standing on tiptoe impossible and general mobility was massively reduced. She had been told several years ago that this would be her life because of complications with these joints. She had accepted it until one day by chance she happened on someone who extolled the virtue and healing benefits of Tai Chi. From that moment she had studied and had never looked back, regaining nearly all the lost mobility she had prior to the diagnosis.

This made me realise that Tai Chi is definitely for me. If it can help mature women with their mobility then it can without doubt help me, a middle aged man with mine.

We were soon split from our groups and back on our own to watch and copy the instructor which was when some of the movements were shown to us. It was a simple starting stance taken in three small sideward steps followed by twisting slowly at the waist, then holding an imaginary ball at chest height before bringing it down to hip height on our other side. It was then time to take a step to our right and pull our hands apart so we were stood in a final defensive position with one arm in front of our midriff and the other by our side. This was done over and over again until we were asked to do it all in one fluid movement and “Hey Presto!” I was performing my first Tai Chi move!

It was a great feeling allowing my body to flow and sway in a completely relaxed and gentle movement and end in a defensive position.

Quite amazing.

Although having only learnt the one move in the 90 minutes I was there I enjoyed it so much, I shall definitely be going again tomorrow and hope to learn more of the same and maybe be well enough through the coming week to practise the moves when I get home.

Well, that’s the plan anyway….

FOOD DIARY: Wednesday 5th August 2015

Qty Measure Food Calories (gr) Protein (gr) Carbs (gr) Fat (gr)
Breakfast 1  70gms Six Seeded Batch with Organic Peanut Butter  217  12.1  18.8  13
Lunch  1  50gms Spicy Bulgar Wheat with Garlic, Mushrooms and Onion  75  2.4  13  2
 1  100gms Spicy Mediterranean Chicken  129  22.6  0.8  2.5
Dinner 1  80gms  Wholegrain Rice  101.6  2.24  18.64  1.68
 2  83gms  BBQ Salmon Fillet  358  38  7  19.2
Snacks  1  330mls  Limonata  139 0 34.5  0
1  400mls  Tea  0  4.5  0  0.3
Totals  1019.6  81.84  92.74  38.68
Water  3 500mls  Fizzy Mineral Water  0  0  0  0

So the food diary is back and I am glad because once again I am accountable to you guys for what I eat and drink. I have to admit that it was a very ordinary day food wise on Wednesday and the only reason we had a higher Carbohydrate total than usual is because I had the Limonata blow the total out of the water.

As I said yesterday there was no exercise although I did manage a gentle walk with Archie the dog. This was supposed to picked up on my Map May Walk but unfortunately I not only forgot to start the app when I started the walk but I also forgot to put on the Jawbone Up24 as well! However, this really wasn’t a problem because my pace was pathetic and although I felt a great deal better I was still not 100% and this showed in my activity with the dog and the very small amount of effort expended whilst walk the little critter.

Today proves to be more active as I shall be moving some furniture for my brother so that will hopefully take a little more effort and to that end, I plan to wear my Jawbone Up24 in a bid to at least catch some of the steps I will be taking. You never know, I may just surprise you and have some activity to report…

‘Till tomorrow,

Stay out of the fridge.

9 thoughts on “The Yin And The Yang

  1. sleeveforme22 says:

    Sounds like the Tai Chi is a keeper for sure! I love the story about the lady and her ankles and how she beat the diagnosis and prognosis by practicing. While it may not be a cardio workout per se, I think practices like this are so crucial. I may have to seek one out myself although right now I’m geeked out on yoga.

    Like

    • Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet says:

      Anything that focuses the mind (quietens it) and allows the body to move gently is great so you are doing the very thing with Yoga for sure.
      I too am excited about doing the classes, but more so amazed that I have actually gotten myself to it in the first place and having done so, wanting to do it again!
      Get us two!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. New Journey says:

    I had a friend, she was 95 when she passed, she loved Tai Chi….she said it help her keep her balance, not only to stand but in life….she was an amazing lady…we have many classes here where I live, maybe I will give it a try….glad your enjoying it….I could use all the help I can get with my achy joints and notin wrong with keeping balanced….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. simplysandilynn says:

    This is awesome! I actually read this a couple of days ago, and it really made an impression on how brave you are. Tai Chi has not even been on my radar of something to try. Yoga is the thing I fear and want to conquer. I was dropping off my dry cleaning yesterday and as I got into my car, I saw a sign for Tai Chi in my neighborhood. Thank you for sharing your story, I think I am actually going to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

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