What a way to start the year. Forget the low temperatures and icy atmosphere outside; tai chi will keep us keep warm.
Led by Marsha Eberhardt almost 200 participants improved their circulation and enjoyed learning about Master Moy’s heritage and how it influences the “way we do things”: balance, roundness, softness, elasticity and working together. Our understanding of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts grew as we were encouraged to consider its place (and translation) as ‘the grand ultimate’, a teaching about the universe and how to live within the universe.
It was great to see many people who came for their first workshop. Together we enjoyed Marsha’s relaxed but direct and clear instruction and reassurance as she told us not to worry, but just to enjoy what we’re doing and keep coming.
We worked on balance and being centred. The image of being like a tree rooted to the ground helped, as did the idea of explosions, for three dimensional expansion, and getting right to the top (there’s always more up), and everything moving together. Our feet were encouraged to talk to each other. Working in large and small groups we helped each other improve.
On Saturday the lovely evening meal was a Chinese New Year celebration with short talks and stories about the Chinese zodiac, the year of the wooden goat and the lantern festival, noisy party poppers and bubbly grape juice.
Happy New Year greetings were brought from Marsha on behalf of the FLK and International Boards, Ankie Boumans & Paul Davies for the ERC and Crispin Barker on behalf of the directors for GB. The National Board members then shared a toast with the group. Gung hey fat choy!
On Sunday we started with an hour of chanting before the workshop, another wonderfully, warming art that filled the hall with meditative sound and resonance.
With Marsha’s generous, light hearted and enthusiastic guidance we tried to stay balanced, keep the body as a column, keep our feet connected and feel the softness of it all. The start of the set and the carry tiger sections then began to seem really smooth and elastic, continuous and strong, and wonderful.
It was an inspiring workshop with an atmosphere that was good humoured and hard working. The group tasks and the general organisation seemed to work well and the food was amazing. Yes, warm instruction, warm people, warm hall, warm tai chi and hot food drove away the winter blues.
We’ll do it all again here in June when it will also be warm outside, and for 5 days! Come and join us.