It is now 17 years since I went to Beverley Hills to “try” Tai Chi with Tony and Mario. Apparently the trial was successful, because I am still going to classes, instructing students, helping Belinda run the Beverley Hills Centre, helping Mario at Box Hill and Doncaster, and most importantly, still learning from our Masters and from fellow practitioners.
When I first started Tai Chi, I was after another form of exercise and was amazed at the extent of the workout that I got from such a slow, gentle routine. As I progressed, I discovered relaxation. No matter how stressed I was when I started, 5 to 10 minutes of Qi Gong had me feeling completely relaxed due primarily to the deep slow breathing involved. I also found that when I started to get stiff after several hours sitting in front of a computer at work, a 10 minute break for a couple of rounds of The Lotus routine not only relieved the stiffness, but relaxed me mentally as well.
With further progression, I found great mental stimulation. This came not only from the challenge of learning additional routines, but from answering the many questions from students as I developed my instructing skills.
Then in late 2006 I was diagnosed with Lymphoma and undertook 5 months of Chemo Therapy. Fortunately, I had a type of Lymphoma that responded well to Chemo, with high rates of total cure. My rate of recovery was good and the Oncologist put this partly down to good fitness and ability to relax that was a result of my Tai Chi practice.
Eight years on I am still free from Lymphoma and am enjoying Tai Chi more than ever as I probe further into the flow of Chi and endeavour to improve my practice with movement initiated from the Tan Tien.
Assistant Instructor, Doncaster
Doncaster class enjoying mooncake during the Mid-Autumn Festival.