The Dragon's Head Blog: Coiling in Colchester
Participants from across the UK and Europe are dreaming of circles, after five days of coiling and ‘turning from the spine’ at the International programme in Colchester.
The focus was very much on the *feeling* of the moves, as over one hundred people worked together to connect to the internals in their Taoist Tai ChiTM arts practice.
Whether in the practice hall, the kitchen, or elsewhere in the Centre, everyone brought their experience and good intentions to the tasks at hand, making for a very successful workshop.
Through the tor-yu, wave hands, parting wild horses mane, and the opening moves of the set, we lifted our toes, bent our knees and dropped and coiled our spines, gently working deeper and deeper.
‘Are you getting better?’ was a regular refrain, as we were challenged to engage more seriously and particularly with our own practice and development, and our understanding of our bodies. As we shifted our weight between the feet, we would hear the call of ‘no cheating!’, and as we coiled our forearms we would be reminded not to let our tiger’s mouths ‘fall asleep’. We were also invited to remember the first set of the programme, and then reflect on how it changed each day, prompting us to recognise and appreciate the progress we were making.
In the evenings, participants and volunteers translated the emphasis of elbow dropping, weight shifting, and connecting to the ground, into the beginning of the Lok Hup Ba Fa set.
Whether new to Lok Hup or refreshing one’s understanding, the shift of practice was revitalising and demonstrated the continuity between the two forms.
At the end of the workshop, we were reminded to practice with our minds and with our hearts. And, in talking of the upcoming Grand Opening of the International Centre in Dunedin, Florida, we were reminded that we are all ambassadors for the Taoist Tai Chi Society, and how ‘what we do’ can be too simple to explain.