Tai chi? My knees don’t work. I’ve got several slipped discs in my back. I’m frightened of having a fall. Every bit of me aches. And I’d lost my confidence. Just doing simple things like going on the buses or walking made me worried. A friend suggested Tai Chi. Huh? Me? Surely I wouldn’t fit in. But I really needed to help my poor body. So along I went to the Hoxton Health Tai Chi class at Brougham Road Pensioners’ Hall. How bad could it be?
What an eye-opener. I felt so welcomed. Pam, the person who makes the place work, straightaway settled me in and we chatted as if we’d known each other for ages. It’s the same with the other people in the class. Not intrusive, just easy to be with. I felt relaxed immediately. And then there’s Matt, our Tai Chi teacher. Whatever the weather, once he arrives it’s a warm sunny day: you can feel your body and mind stop the battle against gravity and the pressures of life. He asks us how things are going. If we’re a bit stressed out, we’ll do moves which calm us. If we need to be woken up a bit, he’ll give us something a bit more active. And if we’re struggling with particular physical problems, he’ll suggest the Tai Chi exercises that might help.
Learning to walk
And then there’s Tai Chi. I’m learning how to stand, and to walk. I know that sounds weird. But in truth, I don’t think I ever learnt properly or perhaps I just picked up bad habits. I can feel how more secure I am as I move around. I am learning how to let go of tensions, and to hold my body without effort. And to go at a pace that works for me. It’s quite strenuous in a gentle way. So sometimes we sit down. But the biggest surprise is how calming it is. For a whole hour I concentrate on nothing but moving my body without effort. Rather than worrying about stuff. And we get a cuppa after the class, with chat – at no extra cost!
So if you’re looking for a quiet and friendly place, to keep your body moving and settle your mind, come and say hello. We’ll make you very welcome.