The students in my class mainly learn a seated Tai Chi programme, which I designed for special groups. However, we do several sessions of regular practice so they have the full experience. The course emphasizes the health and meditation aspects of Tai Chi, but I do show them a few of the martial art applications of the movements—so that they are aware of that part of the art. Students also write a reflection paper discussing their experiences in the course over the semester. I am always very grateful to be teaching this course when I read their comments— many say that this is their first experience of stillness, that they sleep better, that their level of anxiety has dropped significantly. Some students also say that they have started to remember a movement or two when they are under stress for papers or tests—and it helps them a lot! (Read more in my next post and in my book).
I teach a course entitled Aging and Tai Chi to undergraduate students at St. Thomas University. The format for the course differs from most courses in that it is not only information or “thinking mind” material that is shared. In addition to examining scientific research on the positive effects of Tai Chi and studying its philosophical roots, students practice Tai Chi during the semester. In the beginning they are nervous, as they have never been asked to participate in anything like this before. However, as the semester progresses they clearly become more relaxed, and often say that they look forward to this course because it allows them to experience stillness in the midst of a stressful week of school, work, and so on. (To be continued in my next post).
Pathways to Stillness Blog
My Blog is about how you can discover your own Pathways to Stillness, and why that is so valuable to your life. We will explore what it means to lose and regain our sense of “our story” in the midst and aftermath of loss—negative beliefs about aging and how we can make them more positive, and the many benefits reaped by creating a refuge of stillness within.