A day out with the Gang
The “gang” comprises of a number of individuals who all do one thing in common, T’ai Chi, specifically, Lee Style with the Taoist Arts Organisation. We were lucky enough to be going to a course run by the Technical Director of the organisation Tony Swanson in Newcastle.
We arranged our lifts as there were now seven of us going, so one car was not enough anymore! We arrived well before time to get changed and had a quick chat with those of the Newcastle persuasion before starting class, and of course paying our dues.
We spent the morning going through a breathing exercise to help us learn to move our bodies internally across to the side. How you may ask, the initial portion was to get to riding horse stance from eagle and raise your arms, so that one fist went flat to the other hand in the centre of your body, and to be pushing with that fist. If you step left, then your left hand is the fist. You should be breathing in to fill the fist side with air. Now breathe out as that elbow goes downwards to compress that side of the body. The right side in this case should stay as it is, you then breathe in to refill the compressed side and return your arms across your body, then, breathe out to as you return to eagle stance. Repeat the other side.
There is as ever an extension to this. Here you step as before, then move your body to leopard position, this should open your hip on the opposite side to that which you will now roll your backwards to compress the lung that was filled on the original breath in. You return and repeat to the right.
If this exercise is done correctly, you should break out into a sweat!
We spent the afternoon sessions practising either the Form, or the Flying Hands. I plumped for the Form progression as it is important to see where you are. I have the basics of some of the movements, but I do struggle with certain transitions and this is what I was ultimately shown to correct. I was taken in hand again, literally, by the Technical Director and waltzed around a little. The idea was to show me how it is possible to move. I need to lift from my danjun and this movement did show me how it could be achieved. My friend also had a waltz, much to her embarrassment, but if it helps! It is worth it!
We all went home with things to practise, and notes for the teacher to help us to correct.