Tai Chi 5 day Mini Series: About a month ago... - Strength & Flex

Strength & Flex

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Tai Chi 5 day Mini Series

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator

About a month ago RunaroundSue posted a series of videos for short Tai Chi sessions, perfect for those wanting to explore this practice. And I couldn’t wait to find some space in my workout calendar to fit it in. And as YWA‘s February‘s daily Yoga proves to be short, sweet and gentle, what better time to try it out.

So who‘s with me in trying out 5 days of THAI Chi? Each Video is between 6 to 11 min long, so should be able to fit into most schedules. I’ve put all 5 sessions into a playlist below, so just chose one after the other, day after day.

So for anyone wanting to join me in trying out this gentle practice, I will be doing it over the next 5 days. And let us know your thoughts in the replies.

Taiflow Tai Chi 5 Day 5min Series (6 - 11 min each)

youtube.com/playlist?list=P...

Original post from @RunAroundSue is here healthunlocked.com/strength... and all the replies do suggest that we have an active Tai Chi group of virtual workout buddies amongst us.

And some information about Tai Chi from the NHS fitness website: nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/g...

Enjoy.

64 Replies

I really like these. I am doing some Tai Chi most days, either one of the Taiflow or one of these if I feel like doing a bit more. Not quite as relaxing yet because there is a lot to follow, but I am working on it

youtu.be/6VCy-_rt7kA

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

Oh thank you! Brilliant! Can’t wait to do my first one tomorrow. And your post was the one that got me interested, so thank you!! 🙏

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator

I'm going to give this a go, I've been vaguely thinking about trying tai chi for a while!

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator

Day 1: the slow controlled movements take a surprisingly amount of effort, so it doesn’t leave you out of breath but certainly leaves your limbs and arms somewhat exhausted. In my case, I am not used to keeping my arms up that long, or legs so slowly bending and straightening. The movements are certainly mesmerising, and I have a tendency to synchronise my movements with the music, and that leads to too fast movements.

I can see how this practice tones your muscles and at the same time eases any tensions you might have rolling around in your mind. I am not sure what exactly to do with legs or if my arms should be relaxed or activated for control.

Keen to see where this goes!

LottieMW
LottieMW in reply to CBDB

Just did the first session. Never done it before. Took me a while to figure out she was bending her knees under those baggy trousers 😬🙄🤦🏻‍♀️

Anyway, did the run through twice...found it easy to follow. In a reversal of my evening yoga, I was able to do this upstairs by the bed...whilst Mr. L was downstairs.

I shall wait and see if I get any after effects from my knees 🤞🏼☺️

I was the same, it is hard to see clearly with the baggy trousers. Also on that other video I posted yesterday

I don't think you should worry about doing too much with your knees. No more than is comfortable. In the Tai Chi Chuan there are two people demonstrating, he is really flexible and goes really low, but she does modified moves and they keep stressing that you shouldn't worry too much if you can't stretch as far

😅

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

Arms should be fairly relaxed I think.

I think I will stick to the Taiflow this week, to join in with you all.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

Nice! That’s brilliant, it’s good to have some experienced Tai Chi practitioners on the mat. 🙏

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

Oooh. I wouldn't call me experienced :)

Just a week or two ahead of you!

When you get to the end of these, module 1b is a nice one.

I have just done module 1, I am starting to remember the sequence of the moves so it feels even better.

But I have a question - do you follow Leia as a mirror image or do you move your left arm/leg when she moves her left arm/ leg?

I have always moved the opposite limbs to her, so when she moves to her left I move to my right.

I don't think it matters for these sessions, but I am getting confused on the Tai Chi Chuan videos because they involve taking steps along the movement. I think I have got it right but then notice they seem to have changed feet without me noticing. I feel if I follow exactly I end up looking over my shoulder.

I don't want to cause any confusion but you may want to consider it in case you move on to any other videos.

Anyway today I followed as a mirror image for the guided section, then made a special effort to use the same arms/legs as Leia which was confusing but manageable. However, I am no wiser with regards to the other series.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

I did a mirror image. Ok at this level and as she doesn’t give instructions (like Adriene) it worked. Will have to watch what works better going forward.

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

That certainly seems more natural.

LottieMW
LottieMW in reply to CBDB

Me too...and for the same reasons. Adriene tells you right or left.

If I’m not told, I find it difficult to work it out, so find it easier to do a mirror image.

I have just done day 2. It was a short session so I did the alternative version with different music.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

Yes, I wasn’t quite sure which one I should include in the list, but wanted to keep it simple.

I also realised which session you meant when referring to module 1b. It’s this one, right youtu.be/VVcihFqvNJE

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

Yes, I would have done the same.

And yes, that is the extra one I was referring to. It is a bit longer, including moves from different videos

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator

Day 2 I also just did day 2 with hubby. And we like this one. Today I realised that I’m mirroring the instructor and my husband tends to mimic the instructor, which means hubby and I move as with a mirror between us.

That’s actually quite nice as we move into and out of each other. (Although it’s more focussed when we do not look at each other)

Nice one to do after a full day of running, 50 min Yoga, and my knees were feeling it. So gentle tai chi was just the right thing as I could decide how deep I would bend my legs.

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

That's interesting that you copy her in different directions. Do take care not to fall over each other.

😀

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

🤣🤣

Hi there! I joined specially for the Tai Chi mini series which I read CBDB talk about on the C25K or Bridge to 10K group. I am very interested as years and years ago I have tried 1 test-class of Tai Chi and I loved it! I did not proceed taking the classes because of where they were being given (too difficult to get there for me). I have always found it a pity that there were no Tai Chi classes being given closer to home. I also tried a test-class of something which I thought was Tai Chi, but ended up being Qi Gong or something? Which ended up being too hard for me. Anyhow, I am definitely going to give these 5 mini classes a try!

Today I did day 1. With the waves my hands went too fast back to my body, I certainly have to learn some patience still! But I also think it was because my arms were already getting a bit heavy and tired and it was getting more and more difficult to keep my arms stretched out. I am totally not used to having my arms lifted so long (I also have trouble sometimes when showering, have to lower my arms regularly when washing my hair). I wonder whether this can become better in time or whether this is just how I am.

In any case I liked it very much, only have to train my arms in staying lifted so long.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to BlackScorpion

Great to see you here on our mat! 🤝 Yeah, these slow movements are so deceptive in how much effort and muscles it actually takes! I still have to do day 3 tonight and looking forward to it.

I have just done day 3. I like this one.

I prefer the sessions with the optional practice at the end.

I have finally mastered the Double Spiral. At first I couldn't follow what Leia was doing and I was making it too complicated for myself.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

Yes, I still have to do day 3 so looking forward to that.

I like it too with the extra practice. Got a little confused with the double spirals...

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator

Day 3: 🤔 huh? Was day 3 faster than the others? Great, felt good, but annoyingly my problem-knee is starting to act up with the most minimal bends, so I got to watch that. Otherwise I feel now very flow-y. Great stuff!

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

It might have been faster.

I don't think it will matter too much if you don’t bend. I sometimes forget anyway because I don't notice until she stretches back up!

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

👍🏽

LottieMW
LottieMW in reply to CBDB

I think it was when she said about double spirals? Wait...what? I may have become slightly lost at that point...🤦🏻‍♀️😬

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator

Day 4: Now what will day 4 bring? Haven’t done it yet, but will do before dinner.

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

I have just done module 4. I am glad that you suggested doing this schedule because I think I have only done this once before although I have done all of the others a few times each. Not sure why I missed this one. I enjoyed putting all the moves together.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

Yeah, we also just did one, but 3 is my favourite so far. This one seems to be edited a bit more awkwardly which did interrupt my flow a bit.

Calling in to report on my day 2.

I liked this day 2 even more than day 1, but I did have a bit more trouble to know what to do with my legs as well as with my breathing. In the beginning I tried to follow my breathing with what she said. But after a while I was so focused on the movements that I all forgot about my breathing. Now I do think that with lots of practice your breathing will come naturally to the movements. You just have to practice and learn. As for the legs, I did not always see well enough in the video what she was doing with her legs. But maybe that will come also in time and with practice.

In any case, I really liked this lesson and am curious as to how it will proceed. Are all the lessons building up on each other, to have a complete whole in day 5? I do kinda hope so, so I can maybe practice lesson 5 every day afterwards.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to BlackScorpion

There is a video where all sessions are put together for a ca 38min workout. youtu.be/hv7xwJuQuQc

She does have some other sessions on her channel as well. There is also another session recommended by RunAroundSue which looks very good: youtu.be/6VCy-_rt7kA

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

I wouldn't move on to the Tai Chi Chuan until you have done the easier ones a few times (like I did :) )

I am planning to stick with the Taiflow a bit longer because I feel I am getting more from them now.

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

The review is good, nice to have a longer session

I am finding it all a lot easier every time I go back to the videos. I am even starting to remember the sequence of the moves.

I think I will find it easier after each replay too. You don't learn a language from 1 lesson either eh? ☺ In any case, I like those first 2 days, very curious as to the next 3!

There is a module 1b which is quite nice, plus the 1-5 review as posted by CBDB above

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

👍🏽

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator

Day 5: Last day of the 5-day mini-series. So how is everyone doing? How have you found this exploration of Tai Chi?

I’ll be doing this last instalment this evening, with hubby. So looking forward to what the final day brings.

roseabi
roseabiAdministrator in reply to CBDB

Well, I'm glad I tried it! I used to pass every day a group of people doing Tai Chi and I always admired them - it just looks so elegant!!

I followed the compilation video this morning, because I didn't get around to doing the shorter videos with you (I know I know, who doesn't have time to do a five minute workout? Embarrassed 😂). I like the movements, and I really enjoyed some of the terms used - dragonflies over the stream, umbrellas 😊😊😊 But I found it a bit slow for my taste! I looked around to see if there are any more hardcore versions of Tai Chi as there are for yoga - like Power Tai Chi? 😂 I found that there are different family versions of Tai Chi: Chen, Yang, Wu Hao, Wu, and Sun - and there are many more modern variants of these. They all seem to have the same basic patterns, but the Chen style has a bit more jumping around apparently.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_chi

However, I do of course understand that this is more of a meditative type of practice than a sweaty workout, and as such it would probably be good for me! So I think I will try again - maybe I'll check out that Chen style!

Thanks for posting this series, CBDB! xxx

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to roseabi

You are welcome! Yes, and I could never understand how tai chi is also a martial arts practice until I found that, which to me demonstrates the relationship between tai chi moves and combat moves. Not a workout but very interesting to watch: youtu.be/Jzk2HK0iCcU

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to CBDB

Day 5 -FINAL DAY: Yup, finally at 10:30pm I got hubby to join me do the last one of these.

It was quite fast and I felt I needed my eyes glued to the TV to ensure I’m doing everything correctly.

I somehow am using also YWA breathing techniques here for a tai chi , and that feels good. But there are sections where the movements are slow and other sections where she is much faster. That makes the a constant breathing technique more difficult. Hubby also wanted the camera to stay the same, as switching to different perspectives made the mirroring much more difficult.

Overall, we really are chuffed for having explored this ancient practice. I do like the flowy nature.

So we leave the 5-day Tai Chi mini series for now, but know where to go to when needing a bit of gentle and mindful practice.

And well done to everyone trying it!

Calling in to report my day 3.

Today I found the leg work a bit more difficult, there was a part where her legs were not filmed and I stood there like 'eh and what do I do now?'. On the other hand, with other movements, I felt my body and legs already doing automatically what they had to do. As if the movements of my hands / arms meant something to the legs. Very nice to feel!

I found parting the horse's mane a little tricky, my arms never seemed to do what the teacher was doing. I'll definitely need some more practice of this. On the other hand, the movements which are being repeated every time are becoming easier / more automatic. Maybe automatic is the wrong word, but they feel more natural. It's nice to see / feel that even with just 5 minutes a day, you can learn something. I do think I keep doing these exercises.

Now the compilation of 37 minutes is a bit too long to my liking to do every day, but I would like to have eg. a 10 minute work-out with these movements we are learning now. I wonder if I keep practicing, whether you can combine movements yourself to get to a 10 minute work-out. Or do they have to be in a certain order?

I do was struggling with the cord of my headphones though 😂. I do these work-outs standing behind my desk, the video on the computer screen and my headset on my head to hear what she says. Unfortunately my arms get tangled in the wire of the headset, because of which my movements aren't all as fluent as they should be. No, not going to invest in a wireless headset. I hope that after the series, I'll be able to do it without sound, just following her movements.

Anyhow, very happy to have had this tip of this mini series. I am liking it a lot!

I agree that I want longer than 5 minutes so I usually let it run straight onto the next video. I have a playlist, so for example today I did module 5 with music, followed straight away by module 5 without music.

But you could do two different modules one day and two different ones the next day, or just mix them up.

Module 1b is a good one, a bit longer.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to BlackScorpion

Fab! I chuckled imagining you getting tangled in headphone leads when parting the mare’s main. I can really visualise that. 😂😂

I actually got myself a cable to connect my iPhone to the TV which works great for all things yoga , tai chi or Pilates. So I can manage my YouTube list on my phone and then just hook it up to the cable.

I did module 5 with music, followed straight away by module 5 without music.

I am planning to do module 1b tomorrow, then then combined on on Saturday.

Then start with 1 again.

I will do this a few times before going back to the Tai Chi Chuan videos because I think that will help me to progress better.

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to RunaroundSue

👍🏽

I think I started a day late, and then missed a day...so only did #3 this morning. I’m enjoying them, knees are fine (interesting to note how this is recommenced for older people and help with knees!). Arms also good...I’m not finding this tiring at all...those damned planks with Adriene are much worse!

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to LottieMW

There is surely nothing worse than planks... 😅

LottieMW
LottieMW in reply to CBDB

...the Devil’s work...

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to LottieMW

👹 indeed 🤣

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator

Well done!! We did it! Brilliant work, everyone who made it to day 5. Great that we dared to explore something completely new or committed to continuing a practice! I for one like these 5-day explorations, a taster which allows one to experience the rich diversity that is strength and flexibility!

Big huge congrats 🎈🎊🎉 !

LottieMW
LottieMW in reply to CBDB

I’ve saved these and will continue them as a morning wake up practice. Thank you for this...I would never have considered Tai Chi otherwise 🥰

RunaroundSue
RunaroundSue in reply to CBDB

Yes, a good plan. It was nice to do the sessions "with" other people

I have just done day 4, which honestly I found a bit less 'fun' for me than the previous 3 days. I had a bit more trouble to keep my arms up (there is the problem I have with my arms). Also there were 2 or 3 times that the camera switched and it appeared she was somewhere else in the movement than on the other camera angle. A bit confusing!

Either way, still glad to have done it and curious as to lesson 5 tomorrow!

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to BlackScorpion

Yeah, the camera switching also confused us or at least threw me out of my flow.

Day 5 dusted and done!

Honestly, I was flailing quiet a bit of the time. It went so fast and maybe it's because I mirror, but often I could not follow. I guess I'll need a to watch this video a few times more before I'll fully understand the movements. Day 4 I found the least 'fun', so maybe I'll skip that day in the future. But I will definitely repeat these exercises!

A question, but at 2 moments I thought she was doing 'parting the horses mane', but she said 'toss away the moon'. I am a bit confused now as to what is what now.

Thanks!

CBDB
CBDBAdministrator in reply to BlackScorpion

As far as I understood these moon ‘rolls’ with hands looking at each other, parting the mane is much closer initially . But I would also need to have another look. I liked 5 more than 4 but it was actually quite fast.

Popping back to say I tried 1b last night and enjoyed it. She gave a little more explanation during the flows which made it easier to follow!

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