T'ai Chi: Explorations in Qi (DAN 211)
Tuesday is my busiest day of the week.
On Tuesday mornings, I pretty much stuff all my books into a sports bag and rush out the door with damp hair. My first class starts at 9:40 a.m., and I have class back-to-back until late afternoon.
Sometimes when I'm lucky, I get a small window of time for Starbucks. (Soy Chai and non-fat Misto are my favorites!) But on days when I can't get a dose of caffeine, I become totally exhausted after lunch.
My last class on Tuesday is Tai Chi. It's in the late afternoon, so I usually walk into Spurrier dance studio looking like a sloth, but an hour later, I leave class full of positive energy. Tai Chi heavily focuses on breathing, meditation, and maintaining internal balance. I feel very relaxed afterward, and the shoulder pain which I usually get from anxiety and tension washes away.
(Class discussion. Overview of Tai Chi and its teachings.)
And no, we do not learn how to attack the opponent with Jackie Chan-style punches or kicks. Tai Chi actually has more to do with defense training and sustaining health through gentle approaches.
(The Eight Energies of Tai Chi.)
I'm glad that I'm taking Tai Chi this semester because it's been helping me with stress management. I used to resort to intense cardio exercises to get rid of stress, but I realized that an alternative 'softer' approach, such as meditation and slow movement, actually works better for me. Also, the Tai Chi class allows me to take a break from my usual course load saturated with political and economic theories. My mind and body gets to learn something entirely different. It's very refreshing. I think distancing myself from the usual routine once in a while helps me a lot with finding motivation and energy.
How do you cope with stress during the school year?