Since summer began I have been looking for a yoga class. I wanted to be able to get to it easily, maybe even walk. I wanted lots of options for class times. I wanted the class to include some meditation as well.
Today I checked out our local health club. By the time I got there, there was no yoga class scheduled but a Tai Chi class was listed. What the hell. As it turned out, the class was not Tai Chi but Qigong. Though the class began with warm-ups, 15 minutes in, it turned into exercises with titles like “Move the Stars and Turn the Big Dipper,” “The Elephant Lifts his Trunk,” “The White Crane Cleans its Feathers,” and yes, “The Jade Plate Receives the Morning Dew.” I had never exercised to haiku before, at least that’s what these labels felt like, a kind of movement poetry. I need to learn more about this discipline.
And the movements were slow and incredibly graceful, so graceful, in fact my eyes teared up. (I’m not sure why except for the fact that I did better when I wasn’t trying so hard.) But slow and graceful doesn’t mean easy. There were mirrors in the room, whose reflections I tried to avoid. The others in the class had clearly done these movements before. The instructor was centered, smiling, very tall, very serious, dressed in black. The room was dimly lit. There was some slow meditative chinese music playing on the CD player. In the meditation at the end, I was totally relaxed.
I had become the jade plate receiving the morning dew…and was glad for it.