Chen’s Zoom classes. On Feb. 24th
that moment was when he said that our tai chi should be “elegant.” The class started at 6:30 in the morning,
about two hours earlier than I usually get up.
I was not feeling elegant.
look that way. The most obvious thing
was that I was always looking down to check on my movements. When I look down I
lean forward, which makes me wobble and toss.
I have to get good enough that I
can trust my body to do its job without my checking on it all the time. I think learning tai chi is much like
learning how to drive—when you first start you look down at the steering wheel
and the pedals. You quickly learn how to
operate them and then lift your gaze to look out the windshield to see where
you want to go and how to get there. You
don’t have to look down at your hands on the wheel and your feet on the pedals
anymore. You trust your body to do what you’ve trained it to do.
about lunch or the rest of my day, not watching myself in the mirror or listening
to music. This is not the time to be
multitasking and yet that is what my mind insists on doing. Somehow I have to be alert and not distracted
by anything. Focusing on the imaginary
opponent in front of me helps.
on each individual movement to make sure all the tai chi principles are in
them. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to
stand tall and look ahead without having to chaperone my body, but I’m not