The large poster read, "Tai Chi for Health: a 12 Week Course Beginning September 5". When I saw the sign at the gym, I was intrigued, but by nature I am a cautious person and nervous about making an idiot of myself in front of a bunch of people in a new situation. This would definitely be new and different. My only experience with Tai Chi comes from watching the commercial on TV- I can't remember if it's for Depends or Tide or some arthritis medication- but, hey, it looked kind of cool! So I went.
Apparently, a bunch of other people were intrigued as well, because the class was full, as most new classes are. The instructor explained that this class would only focus on learning Tai Chi for the health benefits and we would be learning twelve basic forms, or postures, that would be suitable for everyone. Although Tai Chi is one of the martial arts, it (along with yoga) has become the latest health club trend because of the physical benefits: improved balance, strength, and flexibility; reduced stress and improved mental focus. (Definitely all things I could use) The instructor explained that as we deal with the stresses of day-to-day life, we lose our energy, or "chi". (This confirms what I have suspected for years: my children suck the chi right out of me.) Tai Chi supposedly "stimulates the flow of energy throughout the body, improves the mind-body connection and increased longevity." Whatever. It looked easy enough for me to accomplish without making an idiot out of myself.
The forms are broad and slow and uncomplicated, but surprisingly, they require a lot of concentration and core strength to perform correctly. I found myself mesmerized by the flow of movement and by the time the class was over, I had momentarily forgotten the as-of-yet unplanned 4-H meeting, the incomplete projects waiting for me at home and all the other demands on my time and my serenity. Perhaps, like yoga, this will be a great way to settle myself enough for some quality and quantity prayer time, since I often find myself too rushed or wound-up to sit and pray for any length of time. I left the class calm and happy.
Besides, I want my chi back.