I consider myself an adventuresome person, willing to try most things at least once. Not things like bungee jumping from bridges or eating bugs, but trying new activities, new foods, going to new places, reading, listening to new perspectives or new ideas that I've not considered before.
I love to learn and anytime there is an opportunity for me to experience something new or different, I will usually try it at least once.
Yesterday it was Tai Chi.
I attended the 11am TAI CHI class at the Marcus Gym in Dunwoody and the experience was AWESOME. The class was small, probably 20 people, all in their 60's and 70's and all of them regulars.
The participants along with the instructor, Sam, welcomed me like I was joining a "special" club - it was like being with an extended family.
The room the class is held in had mirrors on both front, back and side walls along with a soft wooden floor. We had background music, soothing, oriental instrumental music that was perfect for the very slow, yet very focused movements and exercises that we did. Or moving meditations as some describe it.
I took me about 15 minutes to slow down, once I got the hang of what the class was doing I was hooked. Breathing is key to TAI CHI, the instructor was very generous with his help of the two new people in the class, myself and Miriam. We did a series of movements with squats and because I was so focused on the slow movements and staying balanced, I did not feel my muscles screaming, like in the past when I've done lunges or squats across a room.
And then there were swords. The last 15 minutes we all worked with wooden swords and it was VERY COOL. I closed my eyes a few times and imagined myself at the top of a mountain during sunrise doing my Tai Chi routine with sword in hand.
I plan to go back to the Thursday class, that one is level II. They do Tai Chi without words, so no instructor spoken facilitation once they get started.
My first real experience with Tai Chi, many years ago when I visited Buenos Aries, Argentina. During my early morning walks, all of the large parks in the Recoleta area had groups of people doing Tai Chi.
I remember on several occasions, stopping, finding an appropriate viewing spot and being mesmerized by the unity, the flow, the dance - and the band of silence as no one ever spoke a word to each other.
And regardless of what was going on around the group in the park, cars, traffic, birds, dogs, children, - they were all focused, almost trance like, loving what they were doing. I remember thinking, one day I am going to try this Tai Chi activity and see what all the fuss is about. Yesterday I got a taste !
For me the immediate attraction, having to SLOW WAY DOWN in concert with being 150% intentional, focused and fluid. The mental and physical intersection of balance and calm is powerful.
I will keep you posted on my Tai Chi progress.