The war on RSI
I took my first Chi Kung lesson last night. Chi Kung is related to T'ai Chi and T'ai Chi was recommended to me by nice physio Kate. She signed me up for a NHS run course full of little old ladies with their shiny new hips but wondered if something closer to home with more able bodied people might be more appropriate.
The lesson started with some stretching. Actually, it started with me making sure I was at the back and wishing my tracksuit bottoms had pockets which I could have filled with chocolate eggs. Of course, I wanted to prove to everyone there that even if they were some smartypants chi kung expert I was far stretchier than they could ever be. Over stretching during warm up is a very silly idea and so I got all grumpy and decided chi kung is rubbish and I won't be bothering in future.
Then we moved onto a standing meditation. Fortunately, I had been preparing for this by standing with my knees slightly bent for as long as I can manage in the privacy of my own home. It's not normally very long and it is very boring at home but in the lesson there was gentle music and the occasional instruction. Again I wanted to surprise everyone by being amazing on my first go but they weren't even looking at me. Chi kung is meant to be partly meditative aswell, where you acknowledge any thoughts that enter your head but you don't focus on them. I find this so hard. However, as the lesson progressed and the movements got harder and my legs were more like jelly than a firm chi foundation, I felt calmer and more detached. Fewer thoughts in my head about work and knitting and chocolate but plenty about jelly legs and a slightly sore back. And the fact that the woman in red wasn't standing in the correct position.
The lesson progressed with arm waving and stretching and shifting weight onto one leg and then the other. There's no point wasting money on dumb bells and gym membership when your own body can provide plenty of dead weight. Try holding your ams outstretched for a long time and you'll feel it's not as easy as it looks. In fact, whenever you see people doing T'ai Chi it looks so simple and smooth and relaxing but really you're hoping your legs don't collapse and all the chi runs away to the skinny looking girl next to you. I felt the arm stretching was pulling bits that needed pulling but was worried that there would be repercussions. I normally overdo things. I'm happy to report that there were no bad after effects last night nor this morning. Well done me.
I didn't manage to keep up with the whole lesson but I definitely formed a good ball of chi towards the end (that is to say, my hands got really warm). It is so much harder than it looks and I'm very pleased that I can walk today rather than drag myself to work by my lips. Although that's how it feels sometimes on the way into work.
Noblin anti-RSI rating: thumbs up
Likelihood of repitition: high
PS Well done Hannah and Lily for passing the BSL exam!