Tai Chi : an Effective Exercise for Mind and Body
birth of her twins in late 2009, Rebecca wanted a form of exercise that
wasn’t too strenuous and would give her time for herself out of the
house. She’d always been interested in meditation but felt the versions
she’d learned were too static, she needed something to make her move.
was the ideal solution. Like many of the Academy students, Rebecca had
planned to attend classes for perhaps a year but after completing the
form in 2010, she just kept coming back. For a busy mother of energetic
twins and an older child, time to herself is in short supply.
“I have to
do what practice I can when I can. It’s either don’t it at all or do
little bits. I like Tai Chi because I don’t need any equipment and I
can practise any place and any time I have a few minutes – in the
kitchen or the backyard or up and down the hallway.”
accountant by profession, Rebecca went back to work this year but soon
after was made redundant. She would often do some Tai Chi practice at
lunchtime in nearby Glebe Park to clear her head and breathe some fresh
air, returning to work refreshed and relaxed for the afternoon.
noticed the difference in my attitude as opposed to my colleagues. I
didn’t become involved in the usual office grumbles and stress and could
see that the irritations and annoyances would pass. People would say to
me ‘I wish I was as calm as you.’ I realised that was how I had been
before – stressed and worried. I also thought to myself they could do
something about it the way I did.”
that attracts me most is the mental aspect – the calming effect of the
Qigong. My days are so hectic with twin three year old boys. I really
like the awareness of the present moment the meditation brings. My
mind’s a mess most of the time.
have any physical issues but Tai Chi has made me very aware of my
posture and where my body is taking the weight. For example, if my
lower back is a bit sore, I can relax my knees and realign myself to
reduce the pressure. I really like the detailed anatomical knowledge
Instructor Chris brings to his classes.
pregnancy with two big babies was hard on my body but I’m pleased I
started Tai Chi because I think it helped me get back into shape a bit
faster than I would have otherwise. I felt my body began functioning
better. I really like the notion of strengthening the tendons and
ligaments without building up excessive muscle strength. I’d never
heard of this concept before and it intrigues me. It’s the connective
tissues that hold the body together, all the joints. If they’re
stretched and weak, you’re in trouble later in life.
I see my
mother and mother-in-law, both in their mid to late sixties, ageing and
already they have arthritic joints and mobility problems. I don’t want
to be like that at such a relatively young age. I’m a firm believer in
preventive medicine. While my body is still healthy, I want to keep it
that way for as long as possible. I don’t want to wait until I have a
back problem or something before I start thinking about it.”
the Bang (Stick) form to offset the effects of computer use. I have a
tendency to tendonitis and the Bang helps with that.”
Rebecca did a meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains. There she
learned about internal energy so now she has an increased awareness of
her own energy flow. When her Tai Chi and Qigong practice lapsed at
home, even though she was still attending classes, she noticed a drop in
her qi or energy.
the Ruler Qigong to recharge myself. It did but I don’t do enough
practice to maintain the level. When my children are older, it’ll be
easier to find time.
Rebecca like best about Tai Chi?
takes care of the mind and the body all at once, very efficiently. It
optimises the use of time and I can keep doing it until I’m really old.”
(This is an actual interview, but the name
has been changed for reasons of privacy.)