Tai Chi Greeting
Shaking Hands got its start because two strangers would show their empty right hand (the usual hand to hold a weapon) and this evolved into clasping hands as we do today in the West. In the East people are much more reserved, so they either hold up their right empty hand or press their own two hands together in front of their body (again displaying empty hands). And because they are more crowded together, they are more conscious of spreading disease so they don’t like to touch others in public places.
The Indians press their two hands together in front of their hearts and say “Namaste” which means “I greet the God within you”. The Japanese press their two hands together and bow as a sign of respect.
In Tai Chi we use a different hand greeting. We place the left open hand (the left is yin or receptive, soft and yielding) on top of the right fist (right is yang or creative, firm, solid) in front of our middle Dantien (heart mind, emotional center) and stand tall and straight. What this means is that I, like Tai Chi, am firm and solid on the inside and soft and yielding on the outside, made up of both yin and yang qualities, and that my heart recognizes this in you also. I think it is a beautiful way to greet someone.
Note: As I write this, flu season is starting, as is cold season. We must be diligent if we are going to stay healthy. In Tai Chi classes we do lots of partner exercises to understand just what we are doing on an energetic level, so we touch others, mainly on the hand, wrist and forearm. We discourage people who know they are coming down with something from coming to classes. And importantly, be sure not to touch your eyes or nose with your hands before you wash them. The first thing I do when I get home from being in public is to wash my hands. Let’s stay healthy.
In case you didn’t read last weeks Tips, we are adding Tuesday and Thursdays 7 to 8 AM at the Studio. It will be a drop in and we will play with all things Tai Chi. Or it is just a place and time you can come and practice on your own. If you have paid for unlimited classes at the studio, these are included. If you haven’t signed up for unlimited classes, there is a drop in fee of $20. Just think, you can attend 13 classes a week for the same $75 per month. That works out to around $1.44 per class. And yes, we do have students that attend all classes. Starts this week. See you.