There’s a woman in my qigong and t’ai chi class who usually drives me crazy. Every time she comes into the class she goes straight to the temperature control to make sure the room is warm enough for her which is way too hot for everyone else. If you are warming up doing some of the movements she will walk right up to you and begin a conversation— usually in a voice way too loud. She will interrupt others, changing the subject and direction of conversations, so that she can be heard and noticed. She always asks way too many questions of our teacher which causes the work of our class to be delayed. Fortunately, once the class begins, she is quiet and engaged and focused.
Lately I have embraced this woman as part of my qigong practice. She forces me to let her know in as diplomatic a way as possible what my needs are (i.e., being left alone while focusing on postures before class). She forces me to tell her when she is interrupting so that original conversation can reach its organic closure and then her issues can be addressed. She encourages me (without any awareness on her part) to be direct but kind, clear but assertive about my needs and everyone else’s in the class.
I am sure that this particular qigong/ t’ai chi posture is the hardest one so far that I have experienced. I am still not entirely graceful yet in its execution and I haven’t yet fully integrated it into my practice without great effort of thought, intention, and control, but I am clearly making progress. And so is she.