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Wiggle Your Toes

posted 18 Sep 2018, 01:37 by WestDevon Tai Chi   [ updated 8 Nov 2018, 09:25 ]
“You should always be able to wiggle your toes”. These words were repeated again and again by Yuri when he returned to Bratton Clovelly Village Hall at the end of August to do another workshop for us. “If you cannot wiggle your toes freely, you are too much in your knees and they will hurt”. Simple stuff in theory but keeping that awareness when you are learning the moves can easily be lost…until your knees start to hurt of course! This was one of the main themes of the morning along with exercises to loosen and free up the muscles round the spine, Chi Gung exercises to balance the middle dantien, the first six moves, martial applications, demonstrations of internal strength-softness combined with dynamic power, plus an extra bonus half hour for some of us looking at push hands. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining workshop which proved to be another wonderful insight into the world of Taiji.

A couple of people have asked if they are missing out by not coming to the workshops; my immediate answer was to say yes but at the end of the day it is for you, the individual, to decide what you are looking for from learning Taiji. I am very fortunate, and privileged, to have met highly experienced teachers/mentors on my pathway to share and pass on their understanding and knowledge at these workshops. The aim of these sessions is for everyone to glean a deeper understanding for themselves from others that have walked the journey much, much longer than me. Also, there is only so much you can cover in a class so workshops provide an opportunity to study the foundations and moves at a deeper level.  I do my best to filter through what was covered but it is always more productive to one’s own learning to experience it firsthand, but if coming along to the weekly classes is enough for you that is fine. We are all on our journey.

The Lifton class continues to flourish with the same enthusiasm as when we first started in March; some have dropped out but new faces are always appearing. The change from afternoon to morning at Lydford has been really positive and hopefully sets everyone up for the rest of the day. Bratton classes are quieter but we are now into our third year so well done to the ones that have stuck at it from the start-keep with it we have nearly come full circle! As Yuri put it-“learning the moves when you first begin Taiji is not relaxing at all, just really frustrating-these words many of you will agree with I am sure! So for me, to see everyone helping each other and having fun on their Taiji journey is wonderful, and I thank you all for your continual support. Remember, the first steps are the hardest-be patient and give yourself time (plenty of time!) If you cannot make your regular class feel free to drop in to any of the other classes. One thing is for sure, whatever class you drop into we will all be wiggling our toes! 

Having just read an excellent book on Shamanism-Calling Us Home by Chris Luttichau-I would like to share these words about seeking deeper truth that  can be likened to the whole process of learning Taiji. Autumn Equinox Blessings to you all.

When you have understood something, you don’t stop there. You let go of the fact that you have understood it, and remain open to yet a deeper and truer level in your understanding, and this never ends.