Whistling in the dark

Yaffa Phillips writes sporadically

Archive for November 12th, 2010

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Tai Chi

We didn’t go to body pump last night but we did go to Tai Chi tonight. It was good.¬† They are teaching the Yang style.

I took Tai Chi many years ago. 1999. It was at the Executive Fitness Center at the World Trade Center Marriott, which became the Fitness Company mid-membership. The nice thing about going to a pricey gym in the financial district was that most of the members were men. Men don’t like to take classes. If you went to a class it was nearly a personal training session with 6-10 people in the class (except for spinning which was popular, still more women but full.)

The instructor was a small  Asian women who had been teaching for many years and had been a champion of some sort. The first day she did a demo with a ceremonial sword that was completely mesmerizing. Her flexibility and stability and how low she got to the ground were amazing.

She did not speak English very well so every week there were one or two long-time students of hers to explain and describe what she needed to communicate to us. I remember we focused on arm movements and leg movements and then combined them slowly building on each form once we more or less understood them.

I got through the first 13 positions and then had to stop taking the class – It was right before I moved away the first time. A really clear memory I have is of the day when I felt like I finally got the moves. When I was shifting the balance of my weight and my arms and legs were connected in movement. It was a revelation.

I remember there being an Asian woman I would head to the subway with after class. I remember stopping with her in the middle of the concourse of the World Trade Center station to do the moves I was so excited/giddy to have knowledge of.

Right now 11 years later, I am back to learning from scratch and feeling all jumbled and confused. Not sure where my weight needs to shift to, not sure how to move my arms and legs and don’t feel the connection between them.

I am hopeful that I will feel that feeling again with time.

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