Students and staff at Leaning Tree Community School have recently learned about relaxation, gravity, yielding through Cheng Hsin training.
The students learned some basic Cheng Hsin body being principles, the first moves of a Tai Chi set and played lots of games during their weekly ‘clubs’ for an hour on a Wednesday afternoon.
Imagine going to school and having a visitor teach you to relax by having your classmate flop your arms around like a loose piece of meat, learn to move your body more effortlessly by imagining you are an alien pinned to the ground by gravity, or learn to move like Neo from the Matrix by yielding to pressure from your training partner. Even better to imagine doing this if you are a teacher on a professional development day!
The children seemed to thoroughly enjoy the classes, especially the interactive games where they were able to train each other in relaxing or yielding.
The teachers extrapolated their lessons beyond the physical exploration. Several observed patterns of behaviours in themselves that related their consciousness to body being (“It’s much easier to relax with my eyes closed?”) and drew metaphors with their experience as educators, negotiators and nurturers of young bodies and minds (“When am I leading, when am I following, and should I/do I ‘yield’ to the students?”)
Who would have guessed that flopping your arms around or poking your partner in odd places could yield such insights!
Hopefully it’s not the last time we train Cheng Hsin at Leaning Tree. The ethos and intention of the school is very aligned with the sort of holistic, nuanced and intelligent approach to body being and effective interaction that Cheng Hsin enables.
Perhaps this could expand to other schools or workplaces too?