Today I made another visit to my local Maggie’s centre.
In a bid to help me relax I had signed up for a Thai Chi class – again offered for free thanks to an exceptional volunteer providing their skills to support cancer patients on their journey.
I wasn’t sure what to expect – my usual, pre-cancer exercise routine had involved kettlercise, running and a personal trainer with the occasional yoga class thrown in as an attempt to relax my busy mind so the idea of Thai Chi was completely alien to me.
I arrived early because I was told the class filled up quickly and wasn’t surprised to see that everyone else was at least 60…had I chosen the right course?
Then a younger woman arrived. About my age and with the same unsure look on her face. We got talking and I felt instantly more at ease – It turned out I wasn’t the only one trying someone new in an attempt to calm a mind filled with thoughts of cancer and worst case scenarios…
The class started with some breathing exercises and gentle movements. When we paused for a break I was so lost in the experience that I couldn’t have told you how long we had been doing it for…I thought our hour was up but, as it turns out, only 30 minutes had passed.
Following the break we moved on to individual routines including the turtle, dragon and snake…I think!
So what’s my verdict?…amazing! I utterly loved the session and have signed myself up as a regular. I felt completely lost in the breathing and movement. I was so focused on what the instructor was doing that I didn’t have time to think about anything else. I was, for once, living in the moment and, as a result, felt calm and relaxed.
Just as with my experience with the therapeutic touch session that Maggie’s offer – which had given me physical peace for the first time since my diagnosis – I felt this was my first opportunity to embrace emotional peace. Whilst I meditate daily, my mind inevitably wonders (not always to cancer, sometimes to the dishes in the sink!) but with Thai Chi I felt completely focused on the task in hand.
I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone struggling to still their mind and in need of giving themselves permission for some valuable me time.
Another huge thank you to Maggie’s for their support and the generosity of their wonderful, selfless volunteers.