A beginner’s perspective on practicing alone
Scott started his Taoist Tai Chi journey with a beginners weekend last year. When classes were suspended earlier this year due to COVID-19, he initially thought he was craving further instruction, and missing doing the set as part of a group. “Taoist Tai ChiTM arts have become a pretty big part of my life in a quick period of time, so I have been keeping up the practice at home. I’ve found the upshot of solo practise is that I can really concentrate on listening to my body to instruct me on how things are feeling and work on certain areas at my own pace. I’ve been doing the foundation exercises a lot and am becoming more able to feel the elements of them in the 108 moves. I feel as though, in the absence of classes, there is an opportunity to work with what I’ve learned up till now, remembering the instructions and cementing my tai chi before moving onto deeper levels.
I have a good space in my house for practice. I often have kids and dogs running around me while I’m practising, which I love. It gives me the challenge of holding my space and focus.
I’m very grateful that I have Taoist Tai ChiTM arts in my life. I can feel that it has done wonderful things to my body. My spine feels longer, my shoulders feel further back rather than hunched and my groin/pelvis feels more open. I get a fabulous heat in my hands when I practice, and I can particularly feel how much my spine loosens up when I do the turning side to side/spiraling exercise. I love what tai chi does for my mind. It can be hard to focus sometimes but mostly I find myself somewhere between deep concentration and no thought, which in varying degrees feels lovely. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a mindset that I look forward to reaching. It helps to organise my day. To do some tai chi in the morning is a beautiful way to start the day then I look forward to some more in the afternoon to return to that state of calm. Then, maybe some more at night too, when it’s quiet.”