26/27/28.12.16 Tai Chi School, Jima Village

Our last three days at the Tai Chi school have followed a routine, so we’re going to abbreviate it into one post. 

Our day would start at 7.30 with an alarm pulling us out of our comfortable slumber. Breakfast would be either plain congee (rice porridge), vegetable congee or egg noodle soup which we would savour with a view of either the sun or mist on the mountain landscape.

Our two hour morning class would start with a warm up and we would learn the movements of the initial 18 Tai Chi Forms from our teacher Ahwei. We would slowly follow his demonstration of the age old rhythmical moves, shifting our weight from one leg to the other as we twist our hips and move our hands and arms in set routines. Learning the forms was not easy as all parts of your body had to be considered in each position but it was relaxing and fun.

After class, either a bit more practice or relaxing and the drum would sound for lunch which would be freshly prepared each day by the chef, Kun. We would have around eight dishes, two or three meat, either pork, fish or chicken and the rest vegetables. Broccoli, ginger carrots, sweetcorn, garlic cabbage, aubergines, shaved cabbage stem and occasionally tofu in black bean sauce, always accompanied by steamed rice. The food was very good and I was always amazed how Kun produced so much hot food using one gas fired wok.

After lunch we would have a couple of free hours to chat or drink tea with fellow students, wander into Yangshuo or explore the local villages.

The afternoon class was led by either Master Ping or Master Kim and started with a more vigorous warm up. We would then focus on movements to help the spine and hips relax which not only helps with Tai Chi movements but can help with mobility, balance and backache. Some theory would also be explained to us. The class would end with refining the forms we had learnt so far.

At six the drum for food would bang and Kun would produce another set of delicious dishes for us, after which we would drink tea or relax and read in our room.

We both really enjoyed our first taste of Tai Chi and aim to do it again. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and patient and our fellow students who came from the USA, Finland, Australia, Turkey, England and Russia were really welcoming. The location is beautiful, the food was great and we couldn’t recommend the school highly enough.

Click on this link for the school’s website

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