Gotta a hitch in your giddiyup?
Admit it. The old joints are a bit stiffer. Your sense of balance ain’t what it used to be. Or, maybe your busy “monkey mind” needs a little downtime. Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice to have your flexibility back? Tai chi can help.
The Knoxville chapter of the Taoist Tai Chi Society (TTCS) is offering beginning classes in a dozen locations in or near Knoxville, starting in September. Locations, dates and times at 2019 Tai Chi class schedule It is a health form introduced in the U.S. by a Taoist monk, Master Moi Linn Shin, over 50 years ago. Local volunteer instructors teach the 108-move “set” which focuses on flexibility and balance. Beginners learn a few moves each session until they put together the entire set, a process which takes about three months. It has been described by some as a “moving meditation.”
Tai chi is practiced in a group setting. No special skills or athletic prowess is required. All you need is some comfortable clothes and flat-soled sneakers. You learn by demonstration and repetition.
Don’t fret, you can do it. It is a gentle yet effective tool to tune up your body. Just set aside an hour or two, once or twice a week for classes. Donations (or fees) are modest and can be waived as appropriate. Master Moi wanted tai chi to be made available to everyone. That includes you.
Continuing instruction, which delves deeper into these basic moves, is also made available locally.
Why do tai chi? You will find that focusing on the mechanics of the set’s rather gentle, stretching moves helps calm your busy or wandering mind, and gradually increases your flexibility, balance and body awareness. After an initial learning period, the tai chi practitioner can begin to concentrate more on the internal “feel” of the gentle spine turning, stretching and weight-shifting that adds to your sense of strength, balance and broader range of motion.
To learn more, visit the organization’s website www.taoisttaichi.org or check out the local Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaoistTaiChiKnoxville/.
Full disclosure: I have been doing tai chi for years and love it
Nick Della Volpe is a lawyer and a former member of the city council.