Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TAICHI-ING MY WAY TO FITNESS

I've always been "blessed" with a phenomenal (colossal perhaps) weight. In highschool, I weighed more than 180 pounds. In college, I shed 20 pounds (because of stress) and I hit 160. And when I started to worked, I weighed 140 pounds but eventually ballooned back to 160. Despite the decelerating numbers ( at some point) of my weight, ideally, in a 5'4 height, my weight should be 117 - 143.

I've never attempted to weigh in for the past months. By merely checking on my tummy area, I can say that I'm more than 143 pounds.  Plus, my lifestyle change just last year was fattening. I was invited in various parties and I lost track of my exercise routines. I suddenly stopped Taichi-ing but just opted to engage in afternoon dance sessions in my room.Still, the endless eating (at times) didn't stop especially at night.

So just when I thought I'm doing good with dancing and some sit-ups, I felt that I'm not really feeling the kind of energy and positivity which I used to have when I was doing Taichi. With this, I put back my morning exercise routines. I'm back to doing Taichi.


I was vacationing in the Philippines back in 2010 when my father first introduced the rejuvenating and less-stressful routines of Taichi. As I remember, I even laughed when my father told me about joining him as early as 4 in the morning to do Taichi. Even my brother would tease my father. Even I agreed that we find Taichi as corny, unappealing and a contradiction to the foundation of youthful routines in achieving a six-pack abs.

Thanks to magazines and television, I dreamed of having a six pack abs. Unfortunately,  the only closest I can get to putting a landscape of muscles in my tummy is through drawing one. Frankly, I just want to lose weight and fit in clothes that cost cheaper. The bigger the cloth, yes, it's more expensive. Also, I want to have a healthy heart and conditioned body. So, I'm not into the perfect body. I'm not even dreaming of having my billboard with a half-naked body. I'm no DingDong Dantes. Perhaps, more or more, Ding Dong Avanzado.

Going back to my first taste of Taichi, yes, at first, I was hesitant but I gave in. With a very lethargic self because of being with friends the whole night, I dragged myself out of bed and joined my father on our first session of Taichi-ing.

I was surprised to find my father with his full outfit. As I thought, it's gonna be one whole kung fu session before the sun rises. But hey, my father learned (with fees) Taichi from a Taichi Master in the Philippines. And the moment he learned all the movements (with internalization), he's now on his own. At some point, my father was inviting his friends to learn Taichi. And that's for free. Unfortunately, only a few would join because of the "too early" schedule and others prefer walking and some, jogging.
My father doing a warm up in Taichi
For your information, according to mayoclinic.com:

Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, is a noncompetitive, self-paced system of gentle physical exercise and stretching. To do tai chi, you perform a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion.
A few of the benefits of Taichi are as follows:
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Improve balance, flexibility and muscle strength
  • Reduce falls in older adults
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness in older adult
  • Relieve chronic pain
  • Increase energy, endurance and agility
  • Improve overall feelings of well-being
So, on my first day of my taichi session with my father, I was a lazy student but I still listened. There was a part of my self that I just want to come back to bed and sleep. Plus, I was making excuses; I said, "I can just jog in the afternoon or dance." But my father was firm. He wanted me to learn Taichi because of the health benefits it could give me.



After an hour or two, with Taichi walk, slow movements, slower dragon dance, concentration while facing the sun, and some balancing and bending, our taichi session ended. Surprisingly, I sweat a lot. It's true that the slower the movement, the more you'll perspire. I was happy with what I achieved.

And so right after a session, we walked back home and yes, yours truly went back to sleep.

When I woke up, I was surprised to find out I didn't get body pain compared with engaging in a jog for the first time or throwing myself in a dance floor. With this, I promised myself to continue with taichi.

I continued doing what my father taught me. With 5 days of Taichi session with him in 2010, I memorized the basic forms and movements. Soon, I was practicing on my own back in Brunei.

Now that I just come back in doing (again) taichi, I realized how my hiatus and opting for some extreme work out made me just tired and defocused. Plus, I get those body pains which I didn't have when I was into taichi.

Taichi has helped me to strengthen my back muscles. I have a scoliosis which I've been dealing with since college but it's only Taichi that paved way for a stronger and straighter back.

On one hand, Taichi has helped me to not experience any gastric problem anymore. And my breathing seems to be relaxed. And I don't get flu or a running nose as I maintain taichi-ing. And best of all, I get a rejuvenating feeling whenever I sweat as the sun rays dance along. A 30 minute to one hour of taichi covers my need to have a healthy headstart in the morning. On top of that, no gym fees to pay as I can do taichi, indoor or outdoor in my place.

Having said this, I promise to put my self back not only on a healthy lane, but with a type of exercise that molds my outer and inner self. That's taichi. Thanks to my father.

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