I’ve always been sceptical about adverts promoting activities for ‘retirees’, but something about The Joy Club instantly caught my attention. The prospect of engaging in online sessions was quite daunting, but accessible at a time when so many people were being cautious about face to face contact.
Having identified my interests, the opportunity to trial various sessions was an intriguing starting point; the next step was booking sessions, which could not have been easier. A free Zoom account is essential to the process; regular emails/updates ensure the Joy Club events remain a focus in everyday life, if – like me – you are inclined to be distracted from time to time.
It’s fair to say that Tai Chi and Qigong sessions have been extremely therapeutic, at a time of significant change in my circumstances.
What is Tai Chi and Qigong?
Tai Chi and Qigong incorporate gentle sequenced movements and include breathing exercises, which we focus on in the first part of the session. With the emphasis on gentle repetitive movements, I experience a sense of calm and with practice am finding a rhythm that has more of a natural flow, all guided by Jerry’s (The Joy Club teacher’s) soothing voice.
Jerry’s teaching style is effective for me – combinations of movements that are repeated, until they feel more spontaneous; he demonstrates where adjustments in posture need to be made, from different angles. A couple of the positions we incorporate are “wave hands like clouds” and “parting the wild horse’s mane” and they are becoming more familiar with practice.
During the session, participants are on mute and can choose to have their video on or off, which can make the process feel less intrusive if this is preferred.
So what about the benefits?
From my perspective, there is the obvious attraction of learning something new, which improves my muscle strength, coordination and flexibility. Setting regular time aside for a mindful activity helps improve mind and body. An unexpected benefit has been gaining the confidence to join a Cuban salsa class locally and finding joy in the experience.
Curious? Try one of Jerry’s sessions for yourself now!
What did you think of Elizabeth’s review of Tai Chi? Share your thoughts with her below!