Monday, December 7, 2009

Dan Menzel - Newsletter 2009

When is The Best Time to Practice Tai Chi?

Having been prompted to teach tai chi this year at The Tai Chi Center of Chicago has opened many gates for me to pass through. I will try to offer a few of my insights into this side of it. Perhaps "side of it" is a poor choice of words, as "the whole" of our Tai Chi training grows with each step we take. I have found it to be true, that teaching forces one to look upon each posture; with a keener sense of the intent, through our focus of the foundations that Elizabeth continually instills within us.

As for myself, I find it my duty and it is my honor to have the opportunity to offer what I have come to understand about this beautiful way of life. I have also found that there is so much to learn through the eyes of the student. There are so many differnt ways to look upon the same thing, that I find I am constantly challenged by the answers themselves. I am forced to investigate what may be a hurdle for one of the students, identify it and help with the proper corrections to their form. In doing this, the recommendations I offer the students, have a direct correlation to my own form, thus making me a better Tai Chi practitioner as well. Full circle! as they say. This gift that has been offered to me, I am pleased to be allowed the chance to help others find their own path through education and social graces. A very fine thing indeed!

As far as my personal training in 2009:
In 2008 I had decided to bear all my focus on refining what I had learned so far, and the only way to do that was to step up the amount of time I would practice as well as spend as much time as I possibly could at the school. I immediately took full advantage of Tai Chi Center of Chicago's full curriculum including the beginning classes, the ongoing class, intermediate classes and of course some private direction as well, and whatever seminars that Elizabeth is/was offering.

Although I had been trained previously with some of the same weapons forms or martial styles, I found the refresher courses, well, for the sake of redundancy, I found them refreshing! One can never know too much about our own paths, can we?. This schedule of mine has rolled into 2009 as well and during this year I have noticed a marked improvement in my form as well as in my general physical fitness.

The nagging question I suppose for most everyone is "time". Which brings me to this question that I hope each of us must seriously ponder from time to time. When is the best time to practice Tai Chi? How does one find the time? Sure, all one needs is a pair of flat bottomed shoes and a will to move forward, but this hustle and bustle lifestyle we lead in order to tend to our families and the whole "bringing home the bacon bits". The answer may be closer and easier than we all thought. Time, that darn time! The answer may be as simple as 1-2-3. Time, pesky time! Perhaps a closer study of The Tai Chi Center of Chicago (TCC) website may have the answer,'s right inside of you....perhaps its...about time to investigate.

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