WE all know that we should exercise more as part of a healthier lifestyle but few people are aware that many forms of exercise can create problems. This is particularly true as we get older when damage to joints and general wear and tear to the body can become a serious problem. There are certain activities though, of which T’ai chi is one, which do not stress the body when exercising.
Unlike other forms of exercise, T’ai chi requires students to practise in the most unhurried, gentle and relaxed way possible in order to gain maximum benefits. The unhurried and effortless movements are practised with calm concentration making practice extremely pleasurable. If the exercise is not comfortable and enjoyable you are probably doing something wrong.
It sounds so simple but in fact one difficulty when teaching T’ai chi is in changing attitudes to exercise and getting people to slow down and take things easy. Alan Baker often says it is his job to teach people to be lazy.
Although he is only joking there is some truth in this. When people understand the correct principle it can be quite a revelation. As one individual put it: “It’s like exercising without exercising”.
In partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, The Three Treasures school of T’ai chi is running a class on Thursday afternoons at 12.15pm to 1.45pm in the YMCA hall, Lawson Road, Henley. Visit www.three treasurestaiji.co.uk or call the tutor Alan Baker on (01491) 200471 for further information.