Tai Chi: The Set begins and ends with a Bow

“The set begins and ends with a bow”

When I first heard these words in a Tai Chi presentation prior to signing up for my first class, it was a phrase that stuck, but I don’t know why.  Fast forward 25 years and I embrace every time I have the privilege of beginning and ending the set with a bow.  Guess why!  Gratitude!!!

Gratitude is the opportunity to align the energies of Lower, Middle and Upper Dan Tien with the Earth Star and the Heavenly Star.  And for just a few moments, we bring our hands together in the symbol of the balance of yin and yang, we connect our feet with the ground, we release the spine to open and find space between the vertebra for a shift in frequency, we expand the diaphragm to bring in more air and release any tension, we bring a central focus to our minds, and we have a few moments to be grateful.  All this in a little bow.

We didn’t learn the bow in our first class, it was not until the completion of learning the 108 Tai Chi Moving Meditation.  At the end of this learning we were given instruction on how to do the bow.  We didn’t have any explanations, just the “how to” of the bow.  But, in the back of mind resonated…” The set begins and ends with a bow”.

As I approach my third decade of wonder at the simplicity and the powerful nature of Tai Chi, I am in awe of this one little gesture that brings life into focus at the beginning and the end of the set.  Intention is everything.  Our emotions are our path in life.  If we want to resonate at a specific frequency for health, wellness, success, we need to be specific with our thoughts and with our desires.  At the beginning and the end of the set we have the space and time to open our heart, to focus our mind, to release our body, to set the path going forward, and to lock in our intention.  Gratitude.  Gratitude with love.  Gratitude with Joy.  Gratitude that is present and mindful.  Isn’t it delicious?!

As you begin the year, find your feet, set your intention, bring in focus, and bow with gratitude.  Then, continue the ritual daily with each set you do for yourself and your self-care.  Then, pass it forward, provide gratitude and love for those around you, those out of the room, those in your web of influence and those who just need someone.  Share your gratitude, share your Tai Chi set, share your intention.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this gift.

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