Pillaton WI Report - April 2014

Tai Chi

Our speaker for the meeting on 14 April was Bob Harrison-Daniels a Tai Chi expert. He started by telling us a bit about the background of Tai Chi and said that there is no real proof when and where it came from. One story is that a Buddhist monk saw a snake in a cage moving slowly and carefully so he replicated its movements and discovered that this was a positive thing to do.

Bob also told us that Tai Chi is a martial art and then went onto demonstrate this. So people of Pillaton beware as all the WI members present that night learnt what to do if pushed! Linda kindly volunteered to be the guinea pig and let him demonstrate this on her. Bob asked Linda to resist him pushing her hand away. When she did this it was easy to see that by resisting she quickly lost balance. When asked not to resist by being relaxed and allowing her body to be soft she was less likely to be pushed over. The theory being that the more relaxed the body is the more force it can withstand.

Bob explained that there are five major branches of Tai Chi with the most popular being the slow Yang style. His view is that the slow movements are good for joints. He also said that all movements come from the ground therefore strength starts in the feet and goes upwards so it is important to have feet to head in a straight line as this equals strength. This posture and alignment leads to calmness, lowered blood pressure and muscle tone. In the long term it can equal better health by building up the immune system.

He demonstrated a ten movement form using slow, graceful movements. His lines were flowing and never straight as straight lines equal vulnerability.

He ended by saying that Tai Chi takes: 7 years to learn, 7 years to refine and 7 to really put it all together. Sounds like a long time to me but what do you think?

Pam Lowther

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Last updated: 22 May 2014 Contact Us