I have been practicing Taoist Tai ChiTM arts for a number of years. I had been encouraged by a friend to give it a go, and I’m still giving it a go. One of the wonderful features of Taoist Tai Chi is that you are always ‘giving it a go’ you can never say that’s it! Cracked it!
It was quite a steep learning curve for me, as a beginner, I have profound hearing loss which makes learning anything new a challenge. The joy of Tai Chi for me is the quiet, calm nature of our practice. Extraneous sounds would make hearing the instructor impossible and distracting.
I always position myself near the front, in the middle, directly opposite the instructor. In that position I can lip read any instructions as well as see the demonstration. Watching others perform a set is very rewarding as well.
My disability could isolate me, very easily, although my friends and family are enormously supportive to ensure I don’t resort to self-pity. The Tai Chi gatherings are exceptionally welcoming, a wide range of abilities and experience mean you never feel foolish if you get it wrong.
Much of lip reading relies on guesswork, it’s not unusual to guess wrong but practice overcomes most things but I have yet to learn the names of the moves – they are impossible to guess!
One other aspect of Tai Chi, for me, is the feeling of oneness, complete in itself, it is body and soul.
During this lockdown, I cannot do a set on my own, so really, I do a series of moves, in no particular order. It’s obviously not the same. I do find the disjointed nature is a bit frustrating, but I carry on regardless!
If I did try more often it might help but mostly, I do the foundation exercises as well as I can – hearing (that’s a joke!] my instructor’s voice reminding us what we should be doing. I know when I do it correctly, it feels better. Kim