On Saturday, April 27, thousands of people across 70 countries, brought attention and intention to their breathing. It was World Tai Chi & QiGong Day, when at 10 a.m. in every time zone individuals brought intentional breathing to spread peace across the world. Some of my Tai Chi students stopped to remember and breathe in their living rooms and some remembered when walking down the street. I took the opportunity to take a Tai Chi class planned for the morning, to be with others who would be doing Tai Chi, sending collective breath and movement throughout the world.
The next afternoon I co-led a Tai Chi workshop with Chris Cinnamon from Enso Tai Chi in Chicago. We invited our students to join us in an afternoon of moving our Qi (life-force energy), reinforcing underlying principles of Tai Chi and learning new moves from both Tai Chi and QiGong forms. The spirit in the room was calm, yet very alive. The spirit of the students was eager, but not anxious. The openness was everywhere, in everyone.
For a recap of that experience, check out Chris Cinnamon’s blog: www.chicagotaichi.org/blog
With both of these experiences, I was reminded of the power of Tai Chi and QiGong for reducing stress and anxiety, for promoting balance, for managing chronic conditions. I could go on and on. I was reminded of the amazing knowledge and wisdom of Chinese masters who so skillfully developed these movements that have the potential to heal and change lives profoundly. I was reminded that even in a classroom of people moving together, the experience is essentially an individual one. Each person starts with wherever her or his body and mind are and goes from there. The collective movement of energy serves to enhance the individual’s quality of daily life.
I think quality of our life depends, in part, on taking time to slow down, to be present, to breathe, and to be open to healthy ways of moving our bodies and clearing our minds. . . and to be passionate about something that says ‘yes’ to life. Tai Chi is one of those ‘somethings’.