Back in the 90s I learned Chen Style tai chi first and second forms, and it became something I did daily. Along the way I also learned a couple other forms, including a single sword style, and some push hands, but it was the first form of Chen Style which became a daily practice.
Chen Style is the earliest form and perhaps the most martial of the tai chi forms. I got involved with it through a friend who had some experience with it and I liked practicing the forms right away. We had excellent teachers and I really worked at learning the movements as best I could.
At some point I just stepped away from it. Other things were going on in my life – including getting married. I didn’t seem to have time to continue classes and I learned quickly that the classes helped me focus on practicing the form daily. I stopped practicing the form daily and eventually stopped completely. At one point when I went back to it, I couldn’t remember all the details of the form. I regret allowing that to happen, and I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve told myself I need to get return to it.
When I left behind the grind of the work-a-day world to concentrate on making paintings and mosaics, one of my goals was to get back to practicing tai chi. Finally, I’ve signed up for some classes, which start later this month.
I’ll be going back to the beginning, since time has washed all my former knowledge and practice away, and I’ll be learning a different form, called Yang Style. Yang Style is a slower and gentler form than Chen Style, and given that my body is some 15 years older now (and I’m slower and gentler too), that makes sense to me. I hope to eventually learn the 108 movement long form. This will take quite some time and require plenty of repetition and practice.
At the same time, I’ve also signed up for an 11 week class on bird and plant identification. I’ve always been interested in nature, and I’ve worked on learning to identify mushrooms over the years, but my knowledge of birds and plants is still rudimentary. I’m hoping this class will increase my knowledge and also help me hone my observation skills. Tuffy P is taking a course this fall too, a weekly pilates class.
Always be learning, that’s what I say.