The magic of Tai Chi: a student's perspective.
"This evening I arrived at Tai Chi feeling internally small, crumpled and vulnerable. Because I've been going to Alan's classes for a long time, I did know it was ok to go to the class in that state of mind - I knew it was a safe place.
As we started warming up, all I could manage was to try to do the exercises initially just as I was, and then after a while to help me feel my feet, to help me feel some sense of being even a tiny bit rooted. I was not at all sure I wouldn't need to sit out much of the class at that point.
As the class progressed, I kept on just staying with it all, allowing the feeling of vulnerability, but letting it be, neither holding on to it nor pushing it away. Gradually, the familiar physical movements did their magic.
It seems to be some kind of alchemy combined of Alan’s Heartland approach; how I've learnt to ‘be’ in Tai Chi classes; how everyone is in the class – not competitive, but supportive and playful; what I've learned through Tai Chi about how I habitually approach things and how unhelpful that can be; how the movements take me to a place that is different, that allows something different to happen.
By the end of the evening I'm not sure how well I'd re-learnt the moves I'd studied years ago and forgotten, but I did feel completely different, no longer crumpled, no longer vulnerable, not small. I felt rooted, alive; I had gained a sense of perspective, and regained some belief in myself. I think Alan would say that this is Tai Chi. Or is it magic?"