Your News: Tai Chi, famous people and you

*Ray Pawlett, organisor of Mind, body and spirit fair, Wake House Bourne'Ray performs Tai Chi ENGANL00120110109090708

*Ray Pawlett, organisor of Mind, body and spirit fair, Wake House Bourne'Ray performs Tai Chi ENGANL00120110109090708

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It sounds like the lead-up to a bad Joke – what do the president of the USA’s wife, Michelle Obama and the deceased rock star Lou Reed have in common? The answer is actually Tai Chi.

In a recent visit to China, Michelle Obama was invited to join in with a Tai Chi session and loved it! The rock star Lou Reed did actually have quite a serious reputation in Tai Chi circles for high skill levels. He had liver disease probably as a result of his hard living rock star lifestyle and actually died performing Tai Chi – that is how important it was to him!

I think that Michelle Obama would probably have enjoyed Tai chi so much because she would see that it was a great benefit to the world. Its mixture of training for the body, mind and spirit has massive potential to help people worldwide with their physical, mental and spiritual growth.

Lou Reed would have been a completely different story! Liver disease is a painful condition. He chose to learn something that would strengthen his body and mind to cope with his condition better. The fact that he actually died whilst practicing does not tell me that he was being silly and doing exercise when he should have been resting. Instead it tells me that he probably knew that death was imminent and wanted to be in as spiritual a frame of mind as possible when he died. Tai Chi was just his way of getting into that state of mind.

So what is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient system of exercise that evolved from Chinese martial arts. In its full form it is not just a martial art – it is a mixture of martial arts, healing, meditation and philosophy.

The movements are usually performed in a slow and gentle way in order to relax the body and mind. In the old days of China this was to keep the Tai Chi expert relaxed and calm in the face of a foe. This state of mind was called “Warrior Spirit”.

In modern times, hopefully we do not need to be so worried about aggressive foes but to develop the “Warrior Spirit” can help strengthen our bodies and minds, gain spiritual realisations, reduce stress and have fun!

Tai chi can be practiced at many levels. My youngest students are still at school. My oldest students will be about 80 years older than them! Obviously they are not all doing the same thing. Tai Chi when taught properly can help to bring out the “Warrior Spirit” in everybody.

Lou Reed needed to train his warrior spirit just to make it from one day to the next. Michelle Obama recognised that the warrior spirit could change the world for the better. What can training your warrior spirit do for YOU?

I run Tai chi classes in Bourne and the surrounding area. If you would like to find out more, please contact Ray Pawlett on 07413 620344 or ray.pawlett@o2.co.uk for more details.