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Learning by Playing: Tai Chi Training in London by Carla Verhaaf

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A fantastic view over London, the sun in our faces and all of us together on the top of a major green hill. What a perfect playground for the second part of our Golden Flower International Training in England today. All the energy I have gathered so far in our training sessions flew through my body even more intensely. Being with all these wonderful Golden Flower instructors and students on this perfect spot with the wind in my face made me happy, light, grounded and focused. A spontaneous wrestling-session with colleague and friend John was exactly what I needed to express the feeling of joy and tremendous energy I felt in my body. There is such a desire and need to learn more about Golden Flower’s rich Tai Chi principles which support me and my life everyday.

A lot of exciting, spontaneous playful learning moments followed my morning on the hill. The light atmosphere provided me with the perfect way to practice and integrate the many principles San Gee and Annukka have shared with us so far, such as:  feel your body, stay aligned, keep your body straight and your energy grounded… if you don’t accept that you’ll be “thrown away.” Fall down and stand up again. Try again. Remember that I am in this beautiful place with the supporting people of the Golden Flower Family around me. There are no worries. When I fall I don’t get hurt because I’ve learned to flow and not resist. I just get to my feet again and laugh about it with the people around me. Now I’ve learned to stand up straight.

By playing around and enjoying everything that comes my way the child in me is awakened. I am able to relax even more and experience the internal, energy power that is flowing through my entire body. Amazing things are happening. I felt great empowerment. I had no problem in throwing and get thrown away. I felt great and inexhaustible. I have reached a new level in my development by experiencing what I can do and apply just by feeling, focusing and then allowing and relaxing.

I have learned to play with what I’m learning! And I really felt that I created it myself. I woke up and I really wanted to go outside, in the sun to enjoy this gorgeous place. It’s a joy to play with the beautiful people of this Golden Flower School around me. And the amazing thing is that it just happened. Although in the beginning I felt a little bit uncomfortable rolling in the grass on this big hill. But then I tried just jumping in to it, relaxing and enjoying every moment. In this way I created beneficial, happy and very playful learning moments.

My take away from this morning’s training was to create it, allow it, play with it, allow myself to fall a bit, stand up straight again and try again. I feel strong, energized and happy because of these amazing playful learning moments. I am allowing and eager for what is coming next. I am so happy to continue on learning more about this rich practice of beautiful Golden Flower Tai Chi and I am grateful for all the people who have joined this wonderful school and become part of my life.

With gratitude and joy,

Carla Verhaaf

Carla Verhaaf