Monday, January 19, 2009

Morning t'ai chi for beginners

This morning was my first time doing any t'ai chi, and it was interesting. Every movement has a meaning and names like Parting the Horse's Mane, Crane Spreads Wings, etc. It moves slo-o-o-wly, which is good; it forced my patience and made me relax. I can see how it centers as you breathe, push out all the bad chi, etc. Although I think my bad chi would vanish if the breathtaking, empty beach Mr. Nonthreatening is demonstrating the poses on was under my feet. He was barefoot, too; any exercise you can do barefoot is already better than average in my book. I'll get used to the woo-woo background music, or mute it when I learn the routine. I couldn't get into a couple of the squatting poses and always seemed to inhale and exhale at the wrong time, but I liked it and did feel more awake afterward. Anything that improves the circulation always makes me feel better, once I can motivate myself to do it.

I have a "yoga for large people" workout somewhere that I have to dig up. (I tried beginning yoga for regular people once--damn near killed myself. Five minutes and and it was the couch and ibuprofen for a couple of days.) The large people yoga was much more realistic. For example, the downward dog pose went to a chair, not the floor. Large-people yoga taught me how to roll forward at the knees to stand up, and it does teach good stuff about breathing. I hope the yoga for large people is still in print somewhere, because it's a really good idea.

I met a yoga instructor 15 years ago when I was working in retail, and she was in awesome physical shape. She invited me to come to one of her classes sometime, and I asked her, "Don't you have to be skinny to do that?" Sadly, I was at least 70% serious, but she laughed and laughed and told me no. I don't volunteer for public humiliation, so I wasn't about to contort in public. I just knew I'd get stuck in one of the poses or fart or something.

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