“When I’m at home wanting to practice tai chi, I can’t remember what we did in class.”
Some heads nodded at that comment by a tai chi student in class this week. They want to practice. The desire is there, but they feel some frustration because they don’t know what the moves are.
I had previously sent the students a YouTube link to watch Cheng Man-ch’ing doing his short Yang 37 form, the one we’re learning in class. I asked them to watch the ease at which he moved, rooted in his feet while lifted at his center. Powerful, yet light. Focused.
“Great to watch but there wasn’t any instruction,” another student said. They were in their heads, not in their bodies.
I shifted to talking about relaxing and being patient with ourselves. Hard to do, to slow down and give ourselves permission to take whatever time is needed.
“It’s hard to slow down, even if we want to,” I said. Lots of heads nodding ‘yes’.
“Two things I’d like you to do this summer” –
2. Walk in the grass in your bare feet.
The energy in the room shifted to ‘calm’:
“I can do that.”
“What a nice thought.”
And as class ended, a student commented “I’m looking forward to sleeping tonight. I always have my best sleep the night after I have my tai chi class.”