My Tai Chi started in Jakarta




Something has drawn to me for more then twenty years. I did not give it any attention. To date. Yes, I occasionally did a workshop in that direction and I read a book about the subject. But of course I did not have time.

Since 2016 I again live in the out backs of Portugal and believe it or not: still no time. Even without work because I am retired, even in all this silence. Before I knew it, I again had a yoga practice and therefore a small company with all the rights and obligations that go with it. ‘Back to normal’.

But that which drew, did not go away. ‘No time’ could no longer serve as an argument. There was and always is something going on. So I cut the crap (going on in my thinking) and signed up to study online with Rene Goris in Amsterdam. That was in April this year.

The discipline: Wudang Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan.

All new studies are uncomfortable and certainly for someone who is used to teaching herself. When I started, I knew little about this ancient Chinese movement discipline, except that it fascinated me for 100% from the moment I first saw it in person.

That was in Jakarta 1989.

I was there for work and early in the morning when the sun was not yet up, I drew laps in the hotel pool. But I was not alone. Two older Chinese men were moving slowly in the morning twilight. In the deathly silence they made identical, slow movements.

I thought: I want to be able to do that too! I do not know why. It looked so meditative, so quiet and at the same time full of strength.

All the mornings of that week I watched them after swimming. The last day I walked over and asked what they were doing. Tai Chi, they told me. When I said that I wanted to learn that, they answered as if from one mouth with a smile: “Not now, just keep on swimming, as soon as you’re ready, you’re going to do it”.

Apparently I’m ready now and understand that I could not have done it earlier in my life. The training provokes resistance. The movements seem illogical. I sometimes get confused about getting out of my comfort zone. And yet I continue. Now, after half a year something starts to form and the need for more just grows.

But yes, no time. So much to do. I have a husband, a yoga studio, a household, family, friends, eaters, drinkers and lots of fun. When should I train then? I now recognize the sabotage. It becomes clearer every day that it is only about what I want now, not about the past-time thoughts that haunt my mind.

Also, every day my legs get stronger, my back straighter, my breath deeper, my head quieter and my arms lighter. And that for someone who has been teaching hatha-yoga classes for 35 years. That is exactly what fascinates me. The body and the mind have no limits. Limits are only in your head.

So now, together with Eduardo Salvador, I organized a Retreat for the end of November. Around the Taiji. With Rene Goris as master. Here in our beautiful Alentejo. For you, to also be able to experience what it is like to step out of your comfort zone in a reasonably protected way and (re) discover yourself, your strength and your life.

As if you are in love. But now, with yourself.

You do not have to be flexible; you do not have to have experience. So those arguments are fake too like time. And for the advanced Taiji practitioners, it is a new challenge.

Perhaps November is a bit short day for the people who are in paid employment and have to ask for leave. And I know that if you really want something, it is possible. So you can also register for November.

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