Five and half years ago my knees were hurting. My husband had Parkinson’s. We needed some healing…. Then an article crossed my path that talked about how tai chi helped strengthen legs and was also the best exercise for balance for Parkinson’s. So why not try it. I had been having acupuncture at the Heartwood so I knew there was a tai chi class, and it happened to be at a convenient time. The universe really was aligning for me.
After taking 20 years of yoga, I was used to “being balanced” in class. So, in my first class, I was a little confused by the fact that just because you do something on the right side, you don’t necessarily do it on the left side. How would both legs get the benefit? There was no symmetry, no “balance”. But I was totally open to feeling better, and I put my trust in this ancient art and in Arlene. Arlene was (and is) a very calm and nurturing presence, which I needed as my 20-year old son had unexpectedly passed away four months earlier. The focus of her classes was and is wellness and I learned that many of the others in the class were cancer survivors. I also liked Arlene’s story of healing through tai chi. The sense of camaraderie in the class kept me coming. It was important to me at that time that no one knew me or my loss and I could just be. It was a safe place.
It amazes me that I stayed with it all these years and actually learned the last move of the form tonight. Since I am a person who likes perfection, the class is great as one needs to learn to let go and not worry about the perfection. I think what is most important for me now is what was important five and a half years ago…to just be. It takes all my concentration to be in the room, glide through the form without thinking of errands, my dog, the weather…and of course this is happening more and more. And it’s ok that my mind wanders sometime. There’s no perfection. And by the way, my knees have never felt better.