This morning my dear friend Corine, a talented dance and yoga teacher from the U.S., gave me a call: “Wanna try a Yoga Therapy class with me??”
If you know me a little bit, you might know that anything related to therapy has big chances to hook me. On top of that, since summer break has started, the workout madness is up! Tai Chi of course, but I’m also down for all kinds of different sports. “Sure!” I said to Corine. A few hours later I met her at My Soul Yoga, a beautiful studio close to Fuxing park, where everything, each detail has been thought through for you to feel pampered and to find your balance.
Our instructor is a gorgeous man from Argentina.
Again, if you know me a little bit, you might know that what attracts me to a man at first is not his muscular body, but his timber of voice. Our instructor did make me lose focus, but not for the reasons you imagine. His accent is a bit confusing at some points. “Your thighs” become “your tights”. I wish my thighs were tight though.
Eighty minutes of what they call “restorative yoga”, mainly postures to realign the spine and open the chest. I was quite surprised to notice how well I was doing, when most of the other participants were suffering like hell. Despite the last months of no regular exercise, it seems that four years of Tai Chi practice really did the job, when it comes to body consciousness.
One exercise got me thinking. We were asked us to cross our arms in front of our chest, then notice which arm was on top, and finally reverse the arms. It felt a bit strange, but the movement was an easy one. “By changing your habits, you uncondition yourself. And if you uncondition yourself, you can change on deeper levels.” This immediately made me think of Tai Chi and something I experienced and learnt when I was training at the Yangshuo Tai Chi and Kungfu School: by working on your body awareness, you get access to your mind and spirit on a deeper level, one that allows you to actually change your mental patterns.
This coming Tuesday, I’ll be doing a boxing session. First time since July 2008 that I’m going to put some gloves on again. In October 2010, Tai Chi came into my life and (so far) never left it. It should be interesting to compare combat sports to martial arts.