“I love coming to Tai Chi class, my one hour of stillness and my opportunity to clear my head,” one of my Tai Chi students told our entire class this week. “All the discord, partisanship and news of danger everywhere makes me anxious. And you know what? I’m not an anxious person.” I think she probably said out loud what others might be feeling. We immediately all found our standing center point, slowly moved side to side visualizing our feet like the trunk of a tree, sprouting roots deep into the earth.
“Be aware you are breathing, natural breathing, slowing down from the day. Allow some earth energy to come up through your feet and nourish you. Be sturdy and rooted like the tree,” I say as our energy starts to move out of our heads and starts to gently flow through our bodies.
In another class, a student, with a big smile, mentioned how effective this rooting we practice has been for her when riding the bus. “I had to stand on a crowded bus yesterday and I stood, feet parallel, hip-width apart. There I was steady, as some others were jolted by a sharp turn. I was like a tree.”
Another student mentioned she was in a very long line at grocery store. At first she was frustrated with the slowness of check-out for those in front of her. Then she said a light bulb went on and she planted herself, feet parallel, hip-width and gently started to move in small circles. She was instantaneously calmer.
Our Tai Chi experience teaches us to focus on the moment, stand in a hip-width, feet parallel position to maximize our body alignment, and root ourselves. It’s a moment of creating stillness, in a classroom, on a bus or in a grocery store.