Maggie Newman – Lessons Learned

IMG_0946_editedMost of my learning about the “knot between the pearls” came from hours of learning and focus with Maggie Newman (a senior student of Professor Cheng man-Ching). In the mid to late 70’s she meticulously, arduously, and for me at times painstakingly drilled us who attended her summer 8 week intensives at Naropa Institute, on continuity of motion. This included the “knot between the pearls” AND staying relaxed and continuous in the transitional movements. Maggie would stay on point, having us repeat and repeat a movement until she could sense that we were understanding the internal work. I am so thankful for her clarity, perception, precision, perseverance during each opportunity I have had to learn under her tutelage.

Quote from  an article on Maggie Newman in The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness (Winter 1994-1995)

“Tai Chi isn’t something you “get” and move onto something else.”

One day I was asking Maggie about a movement. While explaining my question to her I said… “I got this part, but don’t understand…” She sternly looked at me and said, “Wasentha, you NEVER ‘get’ anything in the form. Always stay open to what you can learn and never let your form get ‘jaded’.” From that point on I have approached my form as if I had never had thousands of hours of practice; leaving me open to the moments of experience, glimpses into my form and enrichment of spirit.

Peace and love and may the benefits of your practice continue to motivate. Master Young