Sunday, March 22, 2020

Zooming in to Yuki's Tai Chi class

Yuki conducting a Tai Chi session on a class member's tablet.
The real difficulties in all aspects of life which Covid19 has wrought has also encouraged many to find innovative solutions, writes Brian Byrne.

An example is the weekly Tai Chi class run by Yuki Kobayashi in Kilcullen Parish Centre, now closed to the public for the duration.

To keep her class together, she is now conducting sessions each weekday morning online, using the conferencing app Zoom to connect each individual with the group, via their smartphones or iPad or computer.

Earlier this week there were a couple of shaky starts until everyone, including Yuki, got used to the technology. "Since the video quality has improved after a couple of trials, I will have classes every morning from Monday to Friday at 8am, and Saturday at 9am," she told the Diary this weekend. "The idea is to have something to get up for and to keep healthy habits during this challenging time."

The Zoom system is free, and simply requires participants to sign up to use. It comes as an app on smartphones and tablets, and through a browser on a computer. Groups set up 'Meeting IDs', and the one for Yuki's is 792 908 2864 at the times she has mentioned. The sessions last up to 40 minutes, which is the time limit on the free version of the system.

For those just starting Tai Chi, Yuki suggests that the warming up exercises are easy enough for newcomers to follow on the early part of each session, but there are other resources for those who want to learn more.

"If someone is totally new and wants to learn the form, I recommend to download Dr Lam's Tai Chi lessons from the Tai Chi for Health Institute website. The forms I am teaching are Tai Chi for Arthritis Part 1 and 2, and Tai Chi for beginners and 24 forms — which is what the class in Kilcullen has been doing."

Yuki has suspended her acupuncture practice during the current crisis, but she is also offering phone or video consultations and prescription of Chinese herbal medicine. "There are immune system boosters and herbs to relieve mild cold symptoms as well as other ailments. I can be contacted on 086 3412006."

And, back to the morning sessions via zoom, as everybody in the group logs on, they can see and talk to each other as they were used to in the live sessions, so it's a help in dealing with the necessary isolation which is currently part of all our lives.

EDITOR NOTE: If you're out shopping or walking, do PLEASE observe social distancing. If your teenagers are going out, remind them that while they may not suffer much from covid-19, bringing it home to their family could kill someone who loves them.

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