Saturday, December 24, 2011


Christopher Zalek

Reflecting on the past year at the Tai Chi Center just makes me smile. Besides all of the new faces coming in each month, we have a few groups of ongoing students learning and refining internal systems. Its great to see so many people practicing Da Lu together on a weekly basis. And as I'm writing this at the close of 2011, we have two groups learning Hsing-I: one has just started the series of exercises, and a second is about to learn the final moves of the form. Core strength for the student, core strength for the school.

My personal goals last year were two-fold. The first was to start an outdoor practice on a regular basis through the warmer months. We've found a pretty nice place at the Logan Square monument, and have met there on Sunday mornings a couple times a month (good coffee shops and a wonderful farmer's market nearby). Next year I think we might mix it up a bit and change the location from time to time. Stay tuned to the Tai Chi Center on Facebook for more info, we'll start back up again in March.

My second goal was to create a written foundation of the principles of Tai Chi. This turned out to be just a wee bit more than I bargained for. Breaking down and expressing body mechanics of alignment and exercises started to raise more questions than I ever imagined. How do I explain how your shoulders should feel? What are the benefits of breathing fully? What is intention? The results of this exploration are what you see in the posts on Working through this process has also deepened my understanding of Tai Chi and has helped me develop a more creative approach to teaching. To those of you in my Saturday introductory class who went slower than you ever thought possible, who held postures for what felt like forever: thanks for your patience... you have my gratitude!

What will 2012 bring...? I'm not sure, but it being a Dragon year, I'm sure its going to be something big.

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