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Chi and Me

May 13, 2018

I have taken Tai Chi a couple times, once from a good teacher and once from a bad one. Tai Chi Chuan is a series of 108 movements meant to exercise the body, calm the mind and improve the flow of vital energy – chi.

In the search for a new, good teacher, I went to a Tai Chi class at my favorite yoga studio. I found it wasn’t the Chinese practice, but a shorter, American version that was created as warm-up exercises for the longer form. The short form, Tai Chi Chih, took on a life of its own.

Halfway through the first class, I knew this was My New Thing. I felt like I was born to do this. I left class so happy and with so much energy that it was almost like not being me at all.

That was three weeks ago and now I have taken classes from three different teachers, including a class at park on Saturday morning at 8:30 in a neighboring town, which meant I had to get up at 6 to have breakfast, walk the dog and drive over there.

During the third class I took, someting remarkable happened. I felt the chi. Not as an imagined thing. As a real force. The chi is not some woo-woo thing. It exists just like my hand exists and my pants exist.

I was doing the closing movement (each exercise has the same closing movement) and suddenly my left hand felt it. I don’t know what I did, but my teacher instantly knew I felt it.

She said “I spend years teaching people to try to feel that.”

I know I’m going to teach this class someday. Mark my words.

In case you’re curious, here’s the founder doing the opening warm-up.

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