My Tai Chi Experience

On the 6th November Al-Muhsināt arranged for a Tai-chi instructor to give us an insight to the martial art. This was incorporated in the 5 -week holistic health course and it fit in perfectly with what we had been covering in the module.

In the course we discussed all aspects of holistic health: diet, spirituality, routine and exercise. With regards to exercise, we were taught the importance of incorporating aerobic, strength building and internal exercises in our weekly routine. The internal exercises we were recommended to perform daily are tai chi, especially after an afternoon nap.

I have been interested in pursuing martial arts for a long time, and since this was my first time experiencing tai chi with a qualified instructor I was extremely excited.

We were called to an open space in the venue and Aileen (the instructor), explained the essence of the art, the style she teaches and the numerous benefits of pursuing tai chi. Some benefits that she mentioned were: learning to control your energy, increasing your strength and energy levels, improving your posture and combatting stress by learning how to relax. Tai-chi also teaches self-defence; a necessary skill one should have.

Aileen demonstrated several movements of varying intensities; some gentle and some harsh, some quick and some slow, which was really intriguing. She explained that Tai-chi is suitable for people of all ages, and I was surprised to learn that Aileen runs classes for people aged 70+!

The most fascinating part of my experience was witnessing Eileen demonstrate Tai-chi movements with her swords. It was like watching a martial-arts movie! Aileen divulged that training with swords, sticks and fans are taught at the more advanced levels of Tai-chi, when an individual has become extremely proficient in the martial art.

We then did a couple of breathing exercises and movements under Aileen’s guidance. We were guided on how to release the tension from our bodies and that facilitated us to enter a state of relaxation. This occurred for some time and by the end I felt revitalized and refreshed.

Ultimately the experience was incredible and in under an hour I learnt a vast amount of knowledge. Aileen was very gracious and answered all of our questions, and I am extremely grateful to both Aileen & Al-Muhsināt for arranging this experience for us!

By Iqra Tahir (Holistic Health Student – 2016)

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