The Dragon's Head Blog: Reflections on practising alone together
Going out to a Tai Chi class had been a staple of my weekly routine for so many years, I couldn’t imagine how it would feel without that physical link to the Society, the meeting with other members, and the practising together. I’ve always practised regularly at home, but I’ve now realised I’d been doing that as a way to improve and work on things ready to meet together again and practise in a group. As it turns out, I have found something so much deeper through my own personal practise than I thought was possible.
As someone who struggles with anxiety, the last few months have been very challenging in lots of different ways. As the weeks have gone by and I’ve settled into a new and very busy routine juggling “home schooling” and running a business, it has been even more essential for me to carve out my own time for practise. It calms my thoughts, helps me focus and gives me a feeling of being centred and settled in my body and my mind – balance maybe?
Chanting each week has been just amazing. I have felt even more connected with Taoist Tai Chi Society worldwide, and am so grateful for the time the International Board are spending talking, passing on first-hand accounts of Master Moy, and helping us explore the richness of the Society and our practice. And to see pages and pages of smiling faces from our tai chi family is like a huge hug, giving each other support and strength for the week ahead. I may be practising physically alone, but emotionally I am in a huge group, being supported and uplifted, as always.
The shift in focus and intention over the recent months has made such a difference. It’s given me a new perspective on my personal practise. I have felt more relaxed and quieter in my tai chi, there is much more focus, but I’m not trying so hard. The opportunity this time has given me to reflect and practise on my own has been a gift, and I feel so much stronger for it.
Lovely to read of your lockdown experiences. My feelings are similar. Derek and I moved house (eventually) during this time: it was traumatic to say the least. But tai chi certainly proved my saviour. A friend and neighbour (also a member) practised with me daily in the car park until we moved at the end of May, since then I have driven over as often as possible to continue, and now we have the good fortune to have twice weekly organised group practices as well. I felt so stranded in this new place at first and unable to calm my mind and stop thinking obsessively about all the jobs involved and how much I missed my old life. But like you, I found practising our tai chi put me In a calm and hopeful place, put me in control, gave my mind a ‘holiday’ as I totally focussed on the moves and the rhythm of the set. (And watched videos of Master Moy.) I miss our classes, but I am so grateful that our tai chi practice is part of my life and so has been there when I needed it during this difficult time.