Three stories from Tai Chi students in the last few days:
One woman just completed her third class this week, a brand new student wanting to reduce anxiety and stress. When she first started, said she was the sole caretaker of her father, who has dementia, and it is very challenging every day. She has stresses at work and has to juggle competing schedules.
In the midst of class this week, I noticed she seemed at ease, relaxed in her body. After class I asked how Tai Chi was for her at this point. “After my first class, I went home, ate dinner did a couple things for the next day and went to bed. When I woke up in the morning, I realized that I forgot to take my anxiety-reducing medicine. And I felt great. I am in. Tai Chi is already helping me to reduce anxiety.”
Another student told me she walks quickly down the sidewalk. A couple days ago, she wasn’t paying attention, hit an uneven sidewalk and almost fell. She said at that very moment she heard my voice saying pick up your foot and knee, then place your heel down, shift weight to the middle of that foot, then pick up the opposite foot and knee. . . Since then she has been mindful, as we are in class about walking slowing while paying attention.
Playing with his grandchild, one student told me he was very aware of shifting his weight side to side and front to back. “Applying the weight-shifting we use in class, I was able to move quickly, keep my balance and keep up with my grandson.”
How wonderful to hear these real-time benefits from Tai Chi applied in daily life. That’s the key – taking what we learn in class, gain tools to relax, to increase balance and live life more fully. And as the woman in the first story told me, “For the first time, I’m thinking I may be able to decrease my medicine dosage. Tai Chi could become my natural medicine.”