Saturday, June 24, 2006

Wild Horses and Tigers and Cranes and Snakes...

On Friday afternoon, I spent two hours with 45 girls participating in a girl scouts' dance camp. I had been invited to facilitate a session and I chose to do some T'ai Chi with them. It was so much fun! I had been a little nervous about how I would hold their attention (these were girls ages 6 to 12 years old) for two hours straight, but it turned out that I was worried for nothing. I think the moment I pulled up on my motorcycle they were right with me. Who knew a six-year old would be interested in what kind of a bike I ride?!? It was very sweet.

I love doing T'ai Chi with children because you can really engage their imaginations and elaborate on the animal stories. (Flashes of Keda in her school play with her making elephant sounds on stage come to mind...) We even went on an initial imaginary trip (=meditation & visualization) to get in the mood and to meet with an animal friend (=spirit animal) who gave them a special message. When I asked those of them to share that wanted to (of course almost everyone wanted to!) it was amazing! I had expected to have 15 cats and 30 dogs in the room. Not so! We had armadillos, raccoons, bunnies, cheetas, horses, snakes, frogs, pandas, tigers, deer, dolphins, guinea pigs - you name it, we had it in the room! I didn't ask them to share their messages - that part was intended only for them. We then went on to learn a 9 movement T'ai Chi form using various animals.
Here the girls are doing a move called "Parting the Wild Horse's Mane"."Tiger Embraces the Mountain" - aren't they the sweetest little mighty tigers?!? (I am only posting the two shots that I have of them from behind because I feel a little weird about posting the others - even though everyone had signed "media releases"...... blaaaaaaah!)

I had started out with a little story about the Monks in China and how T'ai Chi came to be. Aside from the fitness aspect, we talked about compassion, mindfulness, calming the mind, and protecting ourselves. I was so impressed with these little people who kept saying the most insightful things when I asked them questions about it all. They even pointed out that the martial arts are not to be used for harming others but to protect!!! I am convinced I learned more in the two hours than the girls did!

And I never wanted to work with children..... Just goes to show you how much I know!........
haera ra,
Tia

12 comments:

panthergirl said...

Good for you (and them!!) I'd like to do Tai Chi but I swear I'm too impatient. I struggle with yoga for that reason too.

Here via michele!

utenzi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
utenzi said...

Bad spelling on that first post. I hope all mistakes have been corrected now.

Michele sent me, Tia.

Like Marian, I'm too impatient for Tai Chi though I did more speedy martial arts when I was younger.

I love how mixed the ages are of the kids you instructed. You don't often see kids of so many ages doing something together.

bobealia said...
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bobealia said...

You sound like a great teacher! My grade three teacher had a purple motorcycle and she was the coolest teacher EVER!! Someone's parent, poet Sheree Fitch, even wrote a poem loosely based on her. "Mable Murple's house was purple, so was Mable's hair. Mable Murple's bike was purple..." I completely understand why you had them with the bike. Kids like it when their teachers are a bit out of their ordinary. Way to go!

Thumper said...

Oh, you would have totally captured my attention at the sight of your bike. Only you might not have gotten me inside for Tai Chi, because I would have wanted to stay there are drool on your ride...

Here via Micheles today!

Stephen Newton said...

Your life is unfolding so beautifully. Thanks for such wonderful words. The feeling is mutual and you have taught me much as well. Great how it works, isn't it?

utenzi said...

Most of the comments have been against the death penalty, Tia, but that's not surprising. Since my blog has a decidedly liberal slant I tend to not have many conservative readers.

Dara said...

Tia, thanks for stopping by my blog, you defintely seem like a kindred spirit. The tai chi class looked and sounded wonderful.

Jessica said...

That sounds wonderful!!! There's a Tai Chi class not too far from here, so I've been thinking about starting. (I tried with just a video once, and that was hopeless... I think I accidentally pulled the wild horses' mane instead of parting.) Glad your fears were unfounded and you had a great time.

Christi said...

I dabbled a bit in Tai Chi a few years ago and while I loved how I felt afterwards, I couldn't get myself to calm down enough to really reap it's benefits. I, like panthergirl, find myself hopelessly distracted...the joys of living life in the 21st century.

Aside from that, I love listening to children and tapping in to my own child every now and then. They're so free and honest, and then somewhere along the line we lose that in ourselves. We could learn a lot from them on a daily basis.

keda said...

oooh i wanna bring the lets! :)