By Laura E. Coulter
I have been a teacher of Tai Chi since 1997 and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.The connection between the mind and the body is subtle; it is challenging and often changing. I watch mesmerized as each student grows from the beginner who doesn’t know their left from their right. To amazing knowledgeable body aware beings. This has been remarkable, hundreds of students have come and gone. Twenty-five years of experience, but one thing stayed the same, I teach “feel the experience”. The student might not understand the message when it is given but down the road it clicks, “That is what this means”. It is truly remarkable.
Each class was different, each unique. I loved it. I loved watching the student grow and learn to trust their own bodies. I loved asking questions, not for the answer but to allow each individual time to ponder and learn about themselves, finding their own answer.
My own body has been my best teacher, through torn ligaments, car accidents, pneumonia and even COVID. My body teaches me to let go of old patterns and to see the new possibilities of feeling in the present. It brought insights into energy flow and the ability to track it in my self and in my students. I am a keen observer. After a traumatic brain injury it was what brought me peace and moments of pain free existence. My students learned to laugh with me in each class as I could remember the form and qi gong while forgetting their names. After severe pneumonia Tai Chi allowed for gentle breath to grow in the lungs and carry oxygen and the chi to starved tissues. Most of all, it has allowed me the joy of being in the moment with kindness and humor.
I love my students, some have been with me for six months, some for fifteen years and many in between. I have taught teens and ninety-year-olds. The past two years with COVID shut down and its restrictions have taught me to focus class on zoom and continue to be present. Class life reflects the importance of the connection between the body, mind and spirit. The most important element is combining flow with the breath (or can use the word breathwork).
Be Well, Be Happy and most of all, Be Here!
Are you willing to come on the journey with me? I hope so.