Fully 76 participants gathered at the Horseshoe Centre in St. Catharines for a Central Region program on Saturday, May 6, 2017. All branches in the Horseshoe area were represented and visitors from Stratford, Toronto, Buffalo, and Syracuse were welcomed.
Chris Lewis, our instructor for the day, observed that our first tai chi set was disconnected and began to help us with our foundation. In a quiet, playful and focused manner Chris encouraged us to take responsibility for our practice, and invited us to try less familiar ways of improving our toryu. Following a demonstration of “push hands” participants unfamiliar with this two-person exercise found a more experienced partner and we practiced what we have observed. “Too much talking” Chris commented after our first try and we were given more opportunities to be quiet and focus on the lesson. We continued with the assistance of four group leaders and the less familiar became more comfortable.
After a delicious lunch featuring cabbage rolls and pierogis, Chris invited us to experience the Taoist art of chanting. It was very moving to chant for Dave Frame our past president of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada, and FLK Director. We were guided not to hold back the power of our voices and it became increasingly one vibration together.
Our fifth set was an opportunity to connect what we have learned in the practice of our foundations; the structure, the calmness, the community of helping one another, and the courage to try. Chris did not have to say that the last set was better than the first … we all knew it!