I started Tai Chi a few times – 2003, 2005, but each time I gave up after a few lessons because of pain in my legs from fibromyalgia. In 2008 I turned 50, and I was shopping for canes to support myself walking, and suddenly I decided I would follow through with Tai Chi no matter what. I didn’t want to end up immobile and suffering and dependent, and I didn’t want to hold my fit and agile husband back from exploring the world. So I stayed with it, although my calves burned and pained so much that I would be crying. I could not balance on one leg, and when we did “tai chi walking” my abs were too weak to keep me upright, so I would hobble across the floor trying to lift my legs in the right pattern. When it came to practicing the form, sometimes I would sit out and just move my arms along with the others.
Now, 5 years later, I go to Tai Chi four times a week. I study the 24 form on Thursdays and am proud to say I am able to help lead others. I can’t go low in the poses because there are still some muscle issues in my legs and knees, but I can do the 24 form three times through without stopping. On Tuesdays I study the 48 form, with its flourishing hand movements and spirals and elegant poses, and I feel the movement of chi through my body like the energy of joy. On Saturdays David and I study Bagua Zhan, a faster and more whirling, spiraling form with 64 moves in 6 minutes! Again, I can’t go low, but I can do it, and the spiraling moves are healing and delightful to feel. I call them “Bliss Moves.”
Falling in love with the Internal Arts also led me to study a method of healing that incorporates some aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine along with Touch for Health and a collection of other traditional methodologies. As a Certified Practitioner of Eden Energy Medicine, working with nine different energetic systems in the body, I am able to help myself and others bring the energies of the body-mind into balance. You can see what I do at my website: http://www.peacequestenergetics.com/
Throughout my engagement with Tai Chi, Tammy has been an ultimate support. She gives exactly the right amount of correction, preferring to watch for themes in the students’ errors, and guiding the group rather than focusing on individual mistakes. I have also had the pleasure of watching her continually perfecting her teaching strategies, remaining sensitive to the needs and sensibilities of her students, and gently helping people to align themselves physically with the Earth we inhabit.
If you are looking for a way to strengthen and heal, and to shift out of stagnation and into flow, Willow Moon Internal Arts is the way I recommend!
~ Laurel Batterham
I find Tai Chi similar to yoga, which I practiced for a number of years when I was younger. However, with Tai Chi, the movement and the growing awareness of how energy moves through the body strongly influence how I move through the world. It settles me and at the same time brings greater awareness of my surroundings into my consciousness. I feel more alive and responsive, and more connected. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. Simple activities such as going for a walk, meeting people, cooking and reading carry with them a sense of anticipation and promises of good things to come. Tai Chi has been such an enrichment to my life.
~ David Batterham
“Tai Chi is a practice that I will do for the rest of my life. It is more than a martial art to me, it’s more of an art form and a way of expressing yourself. It helps you connect to your body, mind and spirit and helps you cultivate a more peaceful approach to life. Tammy Bilodeau has a very gentle, patient and engaging teaching style.”
~ Monique Jean
By creating an open and encouraging atmosphere in her classes Tammy has made learning the practice of Tai Chi and Qi Gong both challenging and rewarding for me.
~ Doreen Dyson