Tag Archives: Tai Chi

Tai Chi and Chai Tea

taichiOne thing I wanted to do this year was exercise more. My hiking has been a bit erratic. When Minto floods (which is quite often) I tend to not walk instead of going elsewhere. So, I decided I would take some sort of class that would also supplement my walking. I’ve wanted to take Tai Chi out in Hood River and had started looking into places when the whole move came, so we tried the same thing here.

It seems Tai Chi schools are not like other businesses. They don’t have web pages, they don’t answer their phones when you call them, and they don’t even post their hours online on google or yelp or whatever you want to try to look it up on. Basically, you have be persistent and show up random times in hopes someone is there. Not really easy for someone like me with mild social anxiety when I’m not hiding behind my computer screen. But as one place’s phone didn’t work at all and the other place had a perpetual answering machine with a fake promise to call me back, we eventually took a deep breath and just walked into the closest of the two schools.taichi 2

It turns out we arrived in the middle of the teacher class. They were all doing a form in unison, so we sat on the bench and waited, watching. Intimidating to say the least. It took me a while to pick out the teacher everyone was so practiced at it, and even then it felt a bit like a guess, if a correct one. It turns out the school doesn’t actively look for students, only people who hear from other people (or walk in like we did) so I’m not going to list it here, but everyone there was very friendly in person, and we’ve been going for two months now. I love it. It’s relaxing mentally but somehow gets me out of breath even slow… I go into class tired, come out energized, and yet my legs are completely worn out. I’ve never had exercise like that before… it’s always just been exhausting and nothing else.

It reminds me, overall, of chai tea. I love sitting in an Indian restaurant with a cup of authentic chai tea (not the fake stuff you get a coffee shop). There is nothing more relaxing, really… except now tai chi. So try saying the title three times fast, and well, it’s about as confusing but fun as trying to follow my teacher during class. For all the fun I’m having, I’m truly terrible.  Here’s a video of what I don’t look like… an amazing master doing the form I’m learning:

Willamette Valley: Minto in Snow and Closed-door Schools

Minto 5Snow here in the mid-willamette valley is rare… usually a couple inches once or twice a year, and since we already had that in December for a couple days, I pretty much expected it to be over. When it started snowing on Thursday I certainly didn’t expect a whopping 9 and a half inches across the next three days. I don’t recall ever getting that much snow here before. It was sort of fun watching my back deck fill up with snow, if a bit stressful getting Ben to and from work on Friday.Minto 1

Good thing I’d gone shopping earlier in the week. We were snowed in all weekend. Which while it left plenty of writing time, made me restless, so today after successfully getting my husband to work, I tried going on a walk.

It probably wasn’t the best of ideas, I my feet completely soaked slogging through the snow covered paths, but it was wonderful to be outsides and not really very cold at all.

Minto 6I’ve discovered a path down by the river in exploring the park. Part of it had been flattened by a snow-mobile, which made walking a little easier right along the river. Heading back around the field it was a slow slog. The snow will probably all melt in the next day or so (much of it has already). I’ll probably wait a few days before braving the parking lot and paths again.Minto 2

At least I’ll be having plenty of other new things to be keeping busy. I’ve been considering taking some sort of class for exercise and one thing I’ve never tried before is Tai Chi and it sounded more interesting to me than Yoga (although that was an option too). I found a couple places with it downtown, but neither of them answered their phones. So, finally last week we just walked in after work to see if  we could find anything out that way.

Minto 3Apparently, Tai Chi schools are a bit exclusive… the teacher called it a ‘closed-door’ school, which made me think of samurai schools in Musashi and for a moment made me wonder if I shouldn’t be there, but then he said it means they don’t advertise or post for students, you have to walk through the door yourself. It just so happened we walked in on the advanced teach class… which certainly made Tai Chi look rather complex and difficult, but it also looked just as interesting as I thought it would. So, while my social anxiety went into overtime over the whole experience, on the upside we met the beginning teacher and she invited us to try out a couple classes. So I’ll be attempting my first Tai Chi class tonight.Minto 8