I have tried a lot of exercises and body routines throughout my life. None of them stuck. I am not one of those people who can’t wait to go to the gym or run five miles down the lakefront. I thought having a personal trainer would keep me disciplined so I hired one. And then another one. And a third. All were good and helpful but none could convince me long term. As a result my various exercise experiences were short-lived.
I turned to yoga and then to Pilates and though each of these disciplines was helpful, neither compelled me to continue. And then I started tai chi with Arlene. At first I approached it simply as an exercise to improve balance. And it does that. I have always been a walker and have had my share of stumbles and falls. Since I have been practicing tai chi I walk better; I stand straighter; I move more gracefully.
But there is more to tai chi and that is its holistic approach. I have always admired the benefits of meditation but I found it so difficult to stay focused that I abandoned it. Tai chi, on the other hand, offers focused movement that requires “staying in the moment.” Two for the price of one.
A bonus of tai chi is the sense of community it fosters. Working through the tai chi moves along with other students in a space filled with tai chi energy offers something you can’t get by running your solo five miles or working with your personal trainer or sitting on a machine in a gym.
Finally, and perhaps most important, a good teacher is key to a good experience. Arlene embodies all that’s positive about tai chi – she gives careful instructions with a quiet demeanor that allows the energy into the space while her students perfect their moves.
If you see yourself in my words, give tai chi a try. If you are a happy runner or love the gym or think Pilates is the best, add some tai chi to your life as well. It’s unique and you will feel enriched.