We came back a day early from our holiday in the Lakes because we had a tai chi session booked for Saturday afternoon. Dave's tutor had organised a workshop with a Chinese organisation who promote qigong for health around the world. They hadn't come all the way from China just to teach us, of course - it was part of their general UK tour - but it was still something of a coup as the two ladies were very senior and at least one had represented China in contests at international level.
The session was three hours long and completely exhausting. Qigong is the least martial and least 'physical' of the tai chi disciplines - very graceful and flowing - but even so you end up using muscles you've never come across before, and learning fourteen new moves in one afternoon was pretty tiring too. But it was all absolutely fascinating, especially as the main tutor explained the health benefits of each and every move - sometimes in surprisingly frank detail which left the translators blushing! I came away feeling stretched (think: Ioan Gruffuds' character in The Fantastic Four) but happy.