Commitment to do Tai Chi in Box Hill during the COVID-19 restrictions

Students from the Box Hill Centre share how they are trying to keep doing Tai Chi and Qigong during the COVID-19 restrictions.

A story of perseverance

When the COVID-19 struck and the lockdown started, in March this year, I was in the middle of the Yang Style revision, after having learnt the basics in 2019.
I was progressing very slowly and I was prepared to spend another year before getting confident enough in performing the entire form. My main problem was that I didn't do any practice at home whatsoever. That hour of Tai Chi on Monday nights was all I did for the entire week!
When I started working from home, I thought that my Tai Chi had to be set aside for a while, until the lessons could be resumed in Box Hill. But after a few days, sitting all day in front of the computer screen, my back started hurting and I realised I had to do some sort of physical activity as soon as possible. I couldn't remember the warm-up exercises we used to do at Celestial Tai Chi, and even less our Qigong and the Yang form. So, I looked it up on Internet and found all the videos downloaded and ready to be watched, at any time, from any device, either my smartphone or even my 50" smart TV.
Saving the time on travelling to and from the City, I soon realised that I had plenty of time to practise almost every day, just in my backyard (I'm lucky to have enough space)! That not only helped me with my back and all my other muscles and bones, but now, also, I can perform the Yang form from level 1 to 6 with no interruptions and no guides. And, I find this level of confidence very enjoyable.
The lockdown taught me a lesson: if you really want to progress and also stay healthy, you must practise, practise and practise. My next challenge is now to learn the Chen Style Tai Chi, but I really hope to be back with my instructors soon, I can't do it without them!

Francesco Ramigni, Student
Box Hill Evening Centre

Tai Chi in COVID-19 Pandemic

How do we keep practising Tai Chi when our classes had to stop due to a state wide lock-down?
We could not continue our Monday and Tuesday indoor morning classes in late March. At the end of the last class, I asked my classmates who lived nearby to exchange email addresses and phone numbers. After a few emails and phone calls, we decided to form a small class at the Surrey Dive Park in Box Hill to practise Tai Chi outdoors, which was still allowed at the end of March.
Participants from Tuesday morning Box Hill Shopping Centre Class, run by Instructor Beng Yan, met at 1pm (due to winter weather) at the park to practise Tai Chi routines, Yang Style Levels 1-6, Beijing 24 and Beijing 42. We also practised Da Wu Health Qigong (Dancing Qigong) and 12 steps of Tao Yin Health Qigong.
It was great to catch up with Di, Helen, Lyn, Bee, Alison and Margaret and to hear how they and their families were coping while searching for toilet paper at the supermarket and making appointments to go for a swim at the Box Hill Pool!
Our group needed to swot up on our routines on Youtube before class each week, but we managed to muddle through 7 weeks of sessions until we had to stop again because of the lockdown.
We really enjoyed our exercising and felt the benefit of the practice and of catching up. Soon we hope to see everyone outdoors again to enjoy Tai Chi together.

Angela Liney, Student
Box Hill Morning Centre

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Updated 5 October 2020