How I was looking forward to being part of a tai chi event at the Tai Chi Center of Chicago. It was World Tai Chi & QiGong Day and the good energy of tai chi and breathing were being celebrated and shared across the globe.
But. . . a detour. Three high school students from Evanston Township High School, Callie, Leslie and Katherine, had contacted me to see if I would talk with them about Taoism and tai chi. They were doing a documentary film piece for their Humanities History class. We had been going back and forth for about three weeks on a meeting time and place. As time and events unfolded, a yoga class was cancelled, so classroom space became available and the three students were able to meet me at 10am on Saturday. It felt right. It was a ‘yes’, even though it was at the exact time my other anticipated event started.
We met at Heartwood Center in Evanston, where I teach and headed up to the serene, beautiful classroom. The sun was streaming in through the wall of windows. One of the girls set up the camera with the tripod. They were getting ready to film the interview.
As they were preparing, I said, “This is your project and I want you to take the lead, but are you willing to take the first 15 minutes and do tai chi with me?” Their eyes lit up and all enthusiastically said “yes”.
“Inhale while bringing your arms up in front of you; exhale while slowly bringing your arms down to your sides”. Breathing, moving wih QiGong and tai chi moves, together, the four of us. We were doing our tai chi and breathing with the rest of the world. The students really liked that.
With energy moving, they turned on the camera, asked really good questions about tai chi, about how I got involved with it, what was rewarding in teaching it and what influences Taoism had on tai chi. I followed the interview with a silent demonstration of the first part of Cheng Man-ch’ing’s 37 Yang style form.
A detour that was so good to follow, go with the flow as with the Tao. We shared movements with the world, but most importantly, three freshman girls got exposed to the good energy and balance of tai chi. And we had a fun time!