It is amazing how light we can feel by focusing on being heavy in our feet. That is only one of the insights gained from the recent Calgary National Program on February 3 and 4. Braving the snow and cold of a winter storm, 88 eager participants came together from Alberta and Saskatchewan to receive instruction from our international president, Marsha Eberhardt.
The weekend began on Friday evening with a lion dance followed by a banquet celebrating the year of the fier rooster. One hundred and eight guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal, traditional Chinese dancing and music, a tai chi demo, plus a silent auction.
In the program, we appreciated Marsha’s energy and gentle encouragement as well as her humour, which helped everyone relax as we worked together on getting our toryus “on track”. Through the weekend, Marsha stressed how our movements need to be through the centre and “digital”, that is, slowly in small increments.
Some who were experiencing their first national program were surprised that they woke up without hurting on Sunday morning, after their intense practice on Saturday. Others really appreciated “seeing another level of tai chi” to inspire their own efforts at continuous improvement. They spoke of their many “light bulb” moments as they worked on the first 17 moves of the set. One of these was Marsha’s comment that “to find balance, we must go up”.
We also enjoyed Marsha’s stories of her experiences with Master Moy that reminded us of the rich tradition we share, and her passion for the benefits diligent practice can provide as she shared some of the results of the recent national health survey.
From a brand new beginning student with only two classes under her belt to long-time participants, everyone left with many gifts to integrate into their practice. As one said, “I feel so energized.”