Self Practice and Independance
I want to discuss this because its very important to my perspective on what Tai Chi teaching is all about.
As with any health related exercise class there is a level of health benefit to be had, not to mention pleasure and social comfort from just attending classes each week and simply following the direction of the teacher. I am not against this in any way, and it will be open for people in the foundation classes to stay with this if they wish.
For me personally though I am passionate about sharing something or leading others to something which will change their lives and this actually requires the individual to make effort themselves.
It doesn't actually matter what one takes on board and practices in your self practice or for how long as long as you do something. Self practice of anything works best on a daily basis at least until you are more experienced because it's a body thing and bodies like daily rhythms and familar habits when they get their time and space.
Once you have a self practice or you might call it 'time you give to yourself each day', then it has the potential to develop and expand and Tai Chi is a perfection path for developing this self practice.
Self practice means you do it yourself, you are the boss and you do what you want to do.
It also means with your own energy and motivation and so this is something you have to develop naturally yourself. Willpower only goes so far.
It really develops when your practice feels as natural as eating your breakfast, you miss it when you don't do it and enjoy it when you do.
Each individual has to find a practice that suits them and for myself, I enjoy Tai Chi and the many diverse exercises around it and if at all possible I enjoy doing it outside in a peaceful setting with the fresh morning air, the birds, flowers and trees.
I enjoy it for its own sake, as well as because its good for me and makes me feel better for the day.
Our World is very demanding. Energy is sucked from us everywhere with the busy-ness of it all, the media, the cars, jobs, the sheer pace of change etc. and so for me the most important foundation for looking after ones health is to learn some way, whatever it is, of centering and grounding oneself and putting energy back. Food and sleep alone have not been sufficient in my life although they have to be right as well.
I hope my students are able to find their own self-practice from the various things I teach and live a long and healthy life.
So why not learn Tai Chi....