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Does anyone do tai chi?

(48 Posts)
petitpois Tue 06-Nov-18 10:40:05

I've been reading the Gransnet page on this and am tempted to give it a go. Does anyone here do it? It it easy to get started with? I don't want to look like an idiot. blush How soon before you start seeing the benefits?

DoraMarr Tue 06-Nov-18 10:48:04

I do. It’s great- you don’t have to worry about looking like an idiot, because the movements are slow and it’s easy to follow the teacher. My teacher started with just a few movements and then gradually built them up. Typically a lesson starts with gentle warm up exercises, then the sequence of movements, then some wind- down exercises, then five minutes or so of quiet relaxation. In my previous group there were women in their eighties, one with chronic arthritis, another with scoliosis, another with replacement knees. I would try a few taster lessons to see how you like it: in my experience your relationship with the teacher is important. I credit Tai Chi with improving my balance and posture after a series of bad falls- it has given me confidence in walking outside again.

petitpois Tue 06-Nov-18 11:05:51

Thank you DoraMarr. An acquaintance mentioned it to me so perhaps I'll try it out with her. I'm not very fit but I imagine that will improve a bit. Has your flexibility improved at all? I'm glad to hear it's had such a positive impact on your life.

M0nica Tue 06-Nov-18 11:08:57

I do it and I absolutely agree with DoraMarr. I started to write a reply until I realised I was saying exactly what she was saying.

What is more, as Michael Mosely showed on his programme Trust me, I am a doctor, an hour of Tai Chi is as good for you as an hour of much more active Zumba.

Squiffy Tue 06-Nov-18 12:53:43

petitpois We do tai chi / qi gong as part of our yoga practice. It's amazing, you don't feel as though you're exercising at all, but the effect is wonderful.

I've just found this on Youtube which is interesting and explains the physiology of qi gong:

Here are a couple of Youtube links to actual qi gong practices, which I use, both good, but the Chinese one has the best music (IMHO!!):

soop Tue 06-Nov-18 13:02:42

About thirty five years ago, whilst living in Dartmouth, a man named Julian Crowe, who had been to Tibet, started teaching tai chi. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes. It is a gentle form of exercise that helps balance and concentration. It promotes inner peace.

LullyDully Tue 06-Nov-18 17:01:14

I enjoyed it, but found it hard to remember the order of the moves. Apparently you can't get a video or a book to practise at home....or so the teacher told me. I got confused but liked it apart from that.

I was keen to get a black suit and the black pumps like the " good ones" but sadly didn't get that far. I am sure you will fare better than me. ( same as me and ballet when I was 3. )

M0nica Tue 06-Nov-18 17:16:05

LullyDully, your class sounds rather grand. My class is in the village hall and we all wear casual clothing, what is worn varies from person to person. No question of black suits and black pumps, nor of grades of competence. We are all rank amateurs.

Our tutor varies the exercises from week to week and leads from the front, talking about each exercise before we do it and demonstrating it, then walking round helping us get it right. Nothing at all for us to remember.

How soon do you see the benefits. I am not sure. I was reasonably fit when I started so it hasn't made me fitter, but I have very poor balance, I have mild dyspraxia and it has certainly helped that. I tripped over a hoe last week and did a neat little dance as I fought to keep my balance, and I succeeded.

BlueBelle Tue 06-Nov-18 17:25:48

I did it a very long time ago but didn’t get into at all I couldn’t take the imaginary ball thing seriously (I know it’s me and my concentration) I just wanted to giggle when we had to find partners and pass this ball back and forwards
I m sure it’s brilliant exercise but it didn’t work for me

Squiffy Tue 06-Nov-18 17:27:12

LullyD Your class (and teacher!) sounds rather odd! - especially Apparently you can't get a video or a book to practise at home....or so the teacher told me. Try Youtube as in my previous post.

We all wear whatever we're comfortable with and, as MOnica says, our teacher goes through all the moves, leading from the front - and 'adjusts' us where necessary!

dustyangel Tue 06-Nov-18 17:39:30

Monica I am full of admiration for your neat little dance as my balance is appalling, which combined with poorer than usual sight at moment had me tripping over a line on the floor which turned out to be a step and breaking my wrist.

shysal Tue 06-Nov-18 18:00:33

I saw on 'Trust Me I'm a Doctor' that a Tai Chi class was just as beneficial as a Zumba one. I am thinking of giving it a try too, but not too keen on the spititual side of it. Can anyone tell me whether it will include floor work. My RA makes it very difficult for me to get down and up again without support.

Nannarose Tue 06-Nov-18 18:22:57

I'm quite dyspraxic and found following Tai Chi sequences very difficult. I do pilates regularly, which suits me much better, although I would love to be able to do the beautiful flowing moves of Tai Chi.

DoraMarr Tue 06-Nov-18 18:37:43

Shysal, there is no spiritual side to my class- in fact, I don’t think there is any spiritual side to Tai Chi at all, unless you mean the five minutes sitting or lying in silence relaxing at the end, which has some of the benefits of mindfulness. (although I sometimes find my mind straying to what I am going to have for lunch...) We have participants of many religions and none in our group.

Melanieeastanglia Tue 06-Nov-18 19:22:43

I did it years ago and enjoyed it but preferred something faster so moved on to a more fast-moving exercise class.

M0nica Tue 06-Nov-18 21:53:53

There is no spiritual side to Tai Chi beyond getting us to relax mind and body and no floor work that I have come across. Everything is done in a standing position with a chair back for balance if needed.

Nannarose I have been diagnosed as dyspraxic and do find sequencing difficult, but I have found Tai Chi very helpful even though I do lose the plot completely with some complicated movements. But everyone is concentrating on their own movements and if I sometimes look like a demented spider so what?

Oddly enough I also do pilates and find that more difficult.

Nannarose Tue 06-Nov-18 21:56:45

How interesting! I find that I have time to organise myself with pirates, whereas tax chi moved on without me! I think it's probably to do with the teacher.

LauraGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 07-Nov-18 09:37:41

In case anyone wants to take a look at our page - hopefully some handy tips on how to get started here!


henetha Wed 07-Nov-18 10:04:56

I've done Tai Chi and found it very calming. Out teacher put a lot of emphasis on breathing properly. This in itself is very relaxing. Although slow, the exercises are quite effective.

LullyDully Wed 07-Nov-18 12:39:45

I have moved several times since that class in Solihull. Will try again perhaps there is a local class down here.

Jane10 Wed 07-Nov-18 13:53:03

I tried it for a while but didn't seem to get anything out of it except sore knees. I couldn't cope with standing for an hour at a time. Also the class was large with some real experts shooting ahead and a constant stream of beginners I didn't fit in somehow. sad

M0nica Wed 07-Nov-18 14:38:14

I think this thread shows that, as with anything, it all depends on the tutor, so if one class is unsatisfactory, try again with another.

Jane10 I am puzzled by your class. How can anyone shoot ahead when the whole class are doing the same exercise at the same time?

Jane10 Wed 07-Nov-18 14:42:59

Monica because the whole class wasn't doing the same thing at the same time! The advanced ones did their thing, the beginners did theirs and I was somewhere in the middle. Obviously not all classes are run the same way!

DoraMarr Wed 07-Nov-18 16:32:26

Our teacher teaches us Yang Tai Chi, which is gentle. Our Arts centre also has a Tai Chi for arthritis and rehabilitation. We go at our own pace, doing as much as we can, and it’s fine if you need to sit down for a while. As Monica says, it all depends on the tutor and, to some extent, the rest of the class. We are all supportive.

Morgana Wed 07-Nov-18 16:39:41

I went to a class some years ago, but found the standing with knees slightly bent difficult for any length of time. The teacher was also very focused on positions for self defence, so there was no mindfulness/meditation aspects to the practice. As others have said, it all depends on the teacher. I love watching people do tai chi, it looks amazing. I just enjoy my yoga now.