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Tai Chi anyone?
Old 11-17-2007, 08:44 AM   #1
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Tai Chi anyone?

Tai Chi is recommended for people as an exercise you can do to keep supple until you die. I took one free class and didn't "get it." Does anyone on this board do Tai Chi? What is your opinion of what it does for you?
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:10 AM   #2
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I find it to be relaxing and meditative. Here's a Wikipedia explanation Tai Chi
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Aikido and Tai Chi
Old 11-17-2007, 09:47 AM   #3
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Aikido and Tai Chi

I used to take Aikido classes for a long time, and found that my body couldn't keep up with the 20-something, more fit people. I plan to incorporate Tai Chi or Yoga into my schedule over the next few years. It has been highly recommended by the folks who I've trained with for those who are not super-athletes.

From my experience, some people "get it" right away, and others like me take a few years. I think the important thing is to do something that is not damaging to the body, and enjoy it. The path is more important than the destination, and something I learned from the book The Ultimate Athlete, by George Leonard (a good book for us non-athletes to learn about the learning process), is that when you think you're learning something, you've already mastered it and have plateaued. When you think you're floundering and getting nowhere, you're actually learning.

So for me, I plan to find a way to incorporate Tai Chi and/or Yoga into my schedule on a 1-3 times a week plan. I also think about finding the right group of people to whom I can relate. There can be a huge difference in the level and attitude, and there's got to be a good group out there for each of us.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:32 AM   #4
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Get or don't get is your mind at work. It has little to do with the the practice of Tai Chi (or Aikido for that matter). It is actually an obstacle your practice will hopefully help you overcome. Tai chi and Aikido are doing. All the benefit of practice is incorporated in the practice. Can you just do it and not evaluate whether or not you get it? Very few can.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
Tai Chi is recommended for people as an exercise you can do to keep supple until you die. I took one free class and didn't "get it." Does anyone on this board do Tai Chi? What is your opinion of what it does for you?
Tai Chi is sort of like Chinese yoga. It takes a while to become familiar and comfortable with the moves, but itís worth the effort. If you donít get the meditative side of it, you can still benefit from the movementsÖand the meditative side may follow when you are relaxed and comfortable in the movements. Iíve never taken a class, but I have two favorite VCRs (havenít found them on DVD) and the movements are a slow series of winding and unwinding of the body. Your breathing follows the movements and it is very relaxing. The movements also improve balance. After I lift or do aerobics, I reward myself with Tai Chi.
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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I started a beginning Tai Chi class a few months ago and go every week. So far, I thoroughly enjoy it.

What I like best is what others basically wrote about... when I am "doing" or "being" Tai Chi, I'm not "thinking"... for me, Tai Chi is like a waking meditation which is very relaxing yet simultaneously energizing.

I found that the less I focus on "memorizing" the moves, the more I just enjoy the movement and being-ness aspects of Tai Chi.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:17 PM   #7
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I tried it many years ago, and I too "didn't get it". But I don't slow down much or meditate - go til I drop. Maybe after FIRE...but the slow mo and meditative approach doesn't fit with my current (and last 30 years') style.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:55 PM   #8
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Here in Chiang Mai there are free classes/groups at the 3 Kings Monument as well as Tha Phae Gate -- they start at 5:45am! I have been meaning to get there for months now... I'm an early bird, but to get up, out and there by 5:45 is a commitment to be sure.

The meditative aspect slows the breathing down and thereby slows the mind down. This helps to keep the mind clear and less distracted, focused and less inclined to be aggitated. The stretching and graceful movements help us not only to keep supple, but also helps with our sense of balance as we age. Since we feel more sure footed, we are less inclined to fall or slip, breaking any bones in our body.

All of this is to create a sense of well being and presence, and like others have mentioned, not a sense of doing or accomplishment, but rather of BEing.

It's low impact, one needs no equipment, we make no noise, and we need very little room. Once learned, it costs no money and the benefits are many.

Hope you give it another try, Orchidflower! You really can't lose...

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Old 11-20-2007, 08:06 PM   #9
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I prefer Pilates for building core strength and flexibility.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:33 AM   #10
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I learned Tai Chi at home - slowly and via the below instructor. I got the tape from my library so the cost was zero. It enforces balance and I start each day doing it - re-inforcing flexibility and balance helps me stay focused. In addition when I am very stressed I find somewhere private and do the routine in the tape. I is a great outlet!!!

Easy Tai Chi DVD's/videos, certification with Dr. Keith Jeffery

In addition to this I workout 1 hr/day - where I burn the kcal.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Pletzke View Post
The path is more important than the destination, and something I learned from the book The Ultimate Athlete, by George Leonard (a good book for us non-athletes to learn about the learning process), is that when you think you're learning something, you've already mastered it and have plateaued. When you think you're floundering and getting nowhere, you're actually learning.
Sounds like a fascinating book.

I don't do tai chi. But I really, really enjoy working out on the weight machines. When I am working out, the rest of the world recedes and I become unaware of the usual sights and noises of the gym; I am deeply focused on what I am doing and it is peaceful, as though I was entirely alone. I suppose that in a sense, lifting weights is a meditative sport as well.

When I increase the weight on a machine to five pounds higher than I have ever tried before, and I am able to finish my sets with that increased weight, I feel strong and exuberant because I have made progress. It sure doesn't seem like a plateau! Guess I need to read the book.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:59 PM   #12
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Easy Tai Chi DVD's/videos, certification with Dr. Keith Jeffery

Hey In-Control, that sounds just perfect for me! Thanks.

I may not have an hour every day, but I can give a solid 10 minutes many times... I don't know how long his sessions are, but from listening to his audio message on site, this might be just what I'm looking for.

When I get back to the States, I will look him up in our library.

Thanks again.
Be well,
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:27 PM   #13
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My husband and I have been doing tai chi since September. We both really enjoy it. It's great for concentration (learning the 108 moves in order is a challenge!). I find it helps my balance and helps me with general klutziness. It's also a nice community thing for us -- there's a group that meets twice weekly in our community. It's a meditative practice for me in that it requires me to pay close attention to what I'm doing, and if I stop doing that it is immediately obvious.

That said, I didn't get it at all at first -- I had to learn the first several moves so that I could do a measured component relatively smoothly before I noticed much besides confusion.
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:12 AM   #14
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Hope you give it another try, Orchidflower! You really can't lose...
Except some sleep (at least in CM )

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Old 11-27-2007, 08:38 AM   #15
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Well, I'm going to give it another try after I get out of here. I get the benefits if I can just get into the groove of it.
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:59 AM   #16
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Easy Tai Chi DVD's/videos, certification with Dr. Keith Jeffery

Hey In-Control, that sounds just perfect for me! Thanks.

I may not have an hour every day, but I can give a solid 10 minutes many times... I don't know how long his sessions are, but from listening to his audio message on site, this might be just what I'm looking for.

When I get back to the States, I will look him up in our library.

Thanks again.
Be well,
Akaisha
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It takes me 5min each morning.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:45 PM   #17
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Get more Taichi info from this link:

Tai Chi For Health Books & Tai Chi For Health DVDs by Dr. Paul Lam

It is good pratical exercise for the old and young alike. Check out the DVDs. It has few programs for the old people (breathing and easy movement), young and kung-fu type (more serious jumping) but most of all the breathing.

The web site has many good articles for learning more about Taichi.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:29 PM   #18
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In-control

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It takes me 5min each morning.

perfect! That's what I'm looking for. I can always add time to the routine if I have it.

huutrinon
another good link, thanks!
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:23 AM   #19
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I found that Tai Chi helped me relax from the stresses of w*rk (that is when I was still w*rking ). There really is nothing to get ... other than following and perhaps remembering the moves. The biggest part is the meditation aspects of it (part of the moving). Try it again and just go with the flow. It's suppose to be relaxing ... relax and enjoy.
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