Getting Started (Six Do’s and a Don’t)

July 17, 2013 2 Comments
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.  -Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. -Mary Oliver

There are many choices for a novice starting out with Tai Chi/Qigong.   The first choice may be where to start in selecting a class?  Here’s my opinion.

While there are differences between Tai Chi and Qigong which long-time practitioners can identify, for now you can be confident in knowing that Qigong is called the mother of Tai Chi and Tai Chi is said to be “a standing Yoga that is easier on the knees.”  For sure, the moves for both can be identical or very similar.   The most important thing for you right now is to get started in a group practice where you feel welcome and where you begin to experience body, mind and soul benefits.    You have the rest of your life to decide if you want to specialize in a particular form.

For starters, here are six basic do’s and one don’t.

  1. Do start in a real-live class environment.  DVDs and YouTube are good for reinforcement, but the benefit of working with a teacher and in a class with other students is important to help you do the forms correctly and to become part of the community (energy) that the practice generates.
  2. Do use Google and references from friends to find a class right for you.   Many Y’s and Fitness Centers have Tai Chi/Qigong as well.  There are athletic practices, reflective practices, practices for Arthritis or other chronic disease and others.  Start by selecting a class description that seems closest to your needs.  Most independent  instructors and some fitness venues will let you “sample” their class before you pay for continuing lessons.
  3. Do wear loose-fitting clothes and, if possible, shoes with flexible soles to get full benefit of the flowing movements.  Some people practice barefoot.
  4. Do plan to arrive a few minutes before class and to stay until the end.  Your teacher will most likely start with warm up sets and end with cool down.
  5. Do be patient with yourself.  In the first classes, it is normal to feel a little awkward.
  6. Do leave your daily life outside the practice door.  This is your renewal time dedicated to your mind, your body and your soul.  (Unless you are waiting for a call for a kidney transplant, leave the cell phone in your car or turn it off.)
  1. DON’T do anything that causes you pain.  Ask the teacher how to the adjust the move to your capabilities.

 

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About the Author:

First born, awkward teenager, young professional, wife, Momma, divorced wife, Grammy, wife (again), business owner, Fortune 500 Corporation executive, career coach, reader, writer, fly fisher, joke teller, fast driver, INFJ, Aquarius, Feng Shui hobbyiest, Starbucks drinker, Tai Chi/Qigong practitioner and teacher, Iowan....Of all my labels, momma, grammy and wife are the most cherished

Comments (2)

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  1. Stacey A. says:

    Hi Becky,

    Great article! You may have inspired me to give this a try. I’m just starting yoga and I found your article very interesting and informative, enough so that I’m going to give serious thought to which is best for my needs.

    Thanks!

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