Experiential. We just finished our last Tai Chi class of the school year. I learned more this year than I have in any year since I originally learned the Tai Chi form. This year was very experiential. Rather than focusing on Bob, our Tai Chi instructor, we were directed to focus on our own experiences as we did the form. Sometimes Bob would have us focus our attention on a particular part of our body or particular aspect of our movement, such as shifting our weight. Other times Bob would have us use some sort of visualization as we did the form.
In this last class, Bob used more visualization. First, we imagined elongating our arms: shoulder to elbow, elbow to wrist, and hand to fingertip. Next, we were to imagine that our head was being pulled upward and our pelvis being pulled downward, elongating our spine. After that, we were to imagine that our back was leaning against a wall as we did the form, an interesting feeling. We closed the class and the year by doing the form as if it were brand new, like we were doing it for the first time.
I end the class with a mixture of sadness, fear, and gratitude. I am not sure where my life is going to take me, so I don’t know whether I will be back in autumn. Yet, I was exposed to so many ideas in the past year that I have enough material to experiment with for a long, long time.