Yoga, tai chi, and other low-impact "spiritual"-associated routines
#11
I've never taken a Yoga class, but I do yoga exercises quite a bit through videos, OnDemand channels and the like. I even have a PreNatal Yoga DVD!  :laughing: If they start chanting mantras, I just use the time to practice deep breathing and relaxation. In my PreNatal DVD there is a section where the instructor tells you to pray and about that time, Mary hears from me. ;) I think you can ignore the bull and focus on the exercises as long as 90% of your exercise time isn't spent chanting...and if that's the case, it's a waste of money anyhoo. lol  I hope you find something that works for you!
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#12
If all you want is flexibility just look up stretches, lol. I don't see how cardio is any more painful than pilates or yoga. I would just stretch and do some normal exercises and you should be fine. I would browse the net for some cardio workouts. don't be scared :)
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#13
I've trained in chen takiquan for yrs.
That's the origoinal style its not low impact by any strecth and its tough.
Yang is the most common and the style most think about as tai chi ie sloq steady movemnts. Where chen has slow and fast and outburst of cpontrolled energy bursts and quit a few jumpoing crescent kicks into downward snake positions.
Tough but fun
Wu is another style that is low impact. I only have trained in chen regarding tajiquan. It is a martical art but I don't recomend for self defence unless u have yrs and yrs to dedicate to it for that purpose.

Just a heads.
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#14
You could always try Hwarang-Do.
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#15
(02-13-2010, 02:30 PM)WilfredLeblanc Wrote: ... the lip service to Hinduism you'll get from some yoga teachers elsewhere is just pretension and/or shrewd marketing. Laugh inwardly and tune it out.

Hear hear. Intention matters greatly, I think, here; and I used to worry about whether there was anything intrinsically inherent in the poses and positions that was pagan and therefore to be shunned. After reading and thinking on it, I don't see that there is, any more than there would be a problem with reading Aristotle because he was so thoroughgoingly pagan. Not to say that yoga is to all exercise as Aristotle is to all (Western) philosophy -- ie. a necessary fundamental: but it is one excellent way of providing two necessary fundamentals, flexibility and isometric strength.

In my own experience, I seem to be able to ignore any noise from an instructor or video that isn't on the level of "now move your right leg to a 90 degree angle." But if you have trouble with this or find it too bothersome, do what previous posters have recommended and seek out an instructor/video that doesn't do that stuff, or else find an alternative activity like pilates. It seems like an area for ye olde prudential judgment call.
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#16
(02-16-2010, 12:05 AM)WanderingPenitent Wrote: Tai Chi was invented for war. It is a "martial" art, emphasis on the martial. Anyone who is teaching it as a form of eastern meditation or pseudo-physical therapy is not a master of it but a fool.

Tai Chi Chuan is a defensive martial art, however, part of the "internal" rather than the "external" group of styles.  And as DK posted, any defensive application of tai chi principles requires years of training.

Depending on where you study it, you may get a flavor of "Ancient Chinese Secret", but that's just marketing to get you to sign up.  It can certainly be taught just as a physical discipline, and going home and studying the I Ching or Tao Te Ching to understand yin & yang is not needed.
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#17
(09-19-2010, 06:16 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: Tai Chi Chuan is a defensive martial art, however, part of the "internal" rather than the "external" group of styles.  And as DK posted, any defensive application of tai chi principles requires years of training.

Like all martial arts, it is only a training method. It is not a fighting/defensive system. Such training helps individuals use their bodies effectively for what they choose. One may not use the "techniques" of taijiquan (since I am learning Chinese, I use Pinyin or Hanzi usually for my own benefit), but one can surely use the training immediately. US Marines typically training by running, pullups, pushups and other drills. They do not actually use these movements as they did them in training in combat. Combat is less predictable. If one locks oneself into a system, then they will be defeated by anyone who doesn't follow it.

So, even the most focused martial art is useful for pacifists because who couldn't benefit from training control of one's body? A person truly focused on self defense would probably benefit from getting a good handgun and proper training for it. If the person lived in paradises like the UK or Canada, where crime doesn't exist because the government made it illegal, then one does not even need a gun, because if anything happens, police swoop in to stop any crime as soon as someone instigates it.
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#18
Am I too old or too Catholic for judo?  I heard of it having some Eastern religious influences like emptying meditation.
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#19
(02-12-2010, 07:35 PM)elizabee Wrote: I am wondering whether anybody here does any of these kinds of excersices. I am thinking I would like to get moving more, for balance, flexibility, strength, etc, but I am not big on cardio - actually the #1 reason is for flexibility, so yoga or tai chi sort of appeal to me. However, whenever I look up centres for these routines in my area, the mission statement often contains some wishy-washy and/or questionable claims about spiritual wellness, etc. I would probably just choose to ignore it if possible - I'm just there for the physical benefits - but I am wondering whether any other Catholics successfully engage in these excersices, whether teachers are always very "spiritual" or whether it depends, that kind of thing. Thanks!

I learned Tai Chi when I was younger and it was a great way to learn relaxation and for health. But Spirttual is from prayer to God and not things like yoge. God only in my book for spirituality.  ;)
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#20
(02-16-2010, 12:05 AM)WanderingPenitent Wrote: Tai Chi was invented for war. It is a "martial" art, emphasis on the martial. Anyone who is teaching it as a form of eastern meditation or pseudo-physical therapy is not a master of it but a fool.
I admit I learned Tai Chi while studying Kung Fu.

When I visited China in 98' I learned that the Chinese do Tai Chi as a national exercise. There were men and women in their 80s and 90s doing it every morning. It does seem like a good addition to any diet for sound health.  :)
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