Tai Chi students talk about the class
“I am writing to recommend Marilyn Allysum as a
Tai Chi & Qigong teacher. Both as Marilyn’s student for more than 5 years and as
a nurse, I am pleased to highly recommend her. Marilyn is a remarkable teacher
able to work with people of any age or physical ability, gently inspiring each
person in the direction of ever increasing flexibility, softness, and strength
physically, mentally, and emotionally. Her teaching style, as I have experienced
it, incorporates clear explanation and demonstration, imagery, story, touch, and
humor providing reinforcement and accommodating all modes of learning.
Marilyn understands the structure and physiology of the human body.
She individualizes instruction so that movement may be performed in a style of
accommodation to any pain or limitations while consistently encouraging growth
and improvement in functioning
It is a privilege to have Marilyn as a teacher. Her life and being
model her commitment to health and wholeness. She inspires and helps students to
improve their health and level of functioning in any setting.”
-Sonja H., R.N.
“It is my pleasure to write a recommendation for
Marilyn Allysum from my professional perspective regarding Marilyn’s
characteristics as a capable and qualified instructor. Marilyn is a very
capable, caring and professional instructor. In addition to gradually increasing
the endurance in the physical exercises and activities, Marilyn incorporates an
Ancient Wisdom which helps one to become more centered and peaceful within one’s
own self. She encourages her students to learn at their own pace and within
their own capabilities and limits.
I, personally, have become stronger and have better balance and less
physical pain in my hips due to the classes I have taken with Marilyn. Her
knowledge of people and how their body and minds perform is vast. Marilyn is
always very patient, positive, firm and personal with her students and spends
the needed time for individuals to learn the various lessons. It is Marilyn’s
creative, challenging instructive style that draws me to her classes each week!
She is a very talented person and her students admire her wisdom and talents.”
-Dee H., R.N.
“I am honored to call myself one of your
students. I have studied various martial art forms. Accordingly, I have
experienced a variety of teachers from Milwaukee, Denver, Minneapolis, Okinawa
and Japan. I have also had a smattering of teacher-student relationships
outside of traditional academia institutions. These have included poetry
teachers, pottery teachers and a teacher of invaluable “life lessons” who came
into my life as a manager of the office where I worked decades ago. Thus, I feel
rather qualified as I look at all of these relationships and offer this
unequivocal assessment. There never has been a teacher, (of anything in my
life) that compares to you.
In my experience, you are and always have been consistent with every
student with whom you come in contact with. The consistency I observe is your
expression of love with each and every student. Another way of saying this is
that I have never seen such ego-less interaction. It matters not if it is a
brand new student or a student of many years. Nor if the student is young, old,
male, female, diligent, lazy, white, black, fat, thin or late!!! You are the
same with all. What a remarkable accomplishment and yet I don’t believe that it
is an effort on your part. I think it is truly your nature. I have thought on
more than one occasion how much better I could be as a person if I could carry
your example into the world, into all of my relationships.
I am inspired by you. My interest in and my continuation with Tai
Chi is directly related to the relationship I have with you as one of your many,
many students. (“and where does she get that energy, that exuberance?”).
I have re-read several passages in favorite books that address the
teacher-student relationship. I liked these; however they didn’t quite hit the
mark. They didn’t quite say what I was feeling. I found what I was looking for
in Natalie Goldberg’s The Long Quiet Highway. She is describing her feelings as
Dainin Katagiri Roshi, her teacher at the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center, is
dealing with cancer.
“So many people had passed through Zen Center, seen Roshi,
loved him, carried the seed. It was in all of us to sprout. I held
my heart. I, too, am in the lineage of Roshi, I said to myself. I
with him.” “In order to ensure the lineage, a lot of flowers have
pollinated.” “We all carry Roshi within us.”
Thus, it is that I am honored to call myself one of your students. One of many,
many students that you have touched, that you have reached with your selfless
love. You have planted a seed. It is in us to sprout. I, too, am in the lineage
with Marilyn, I practiced with her. We all carry you within us.”
“When I started studying back in 1989, I never
thought I could stick with it as I did. In that time, I have come to know you as
a person of patience and playfulness. Your quest for excellence is tempered
nicely by your sense of humor. I look forward to traveling with you on the Tai
Chi path that unfolds before us.”
“For the fortunate students, there are those
teachers who can “do” their discipline, but can also “teach” their
discipline. You are one of those teachers and I am fortunate...!”
“I would like to find a calm center, a source of
boundless energy and a joyful, loving attitude toward the world and everything
and everyone in it. The way you are and what you’ve taught me so far give me
reason to believe that those things are possible.
In the time I’ve studied with you, I’ve never regretted coming to a
class, however tired or harried I may have been, and I’ve always come away from
class feeling more peaceful and alive than when I arrived.
Thank you for being who you are and giving us so much.”
“It is the spiritual aspect of Tai Chi that
resonates most with me. I have “The Listening Mind” handout on the wall of my
office, and I often meditate on the concept of “yielding” both in my
relationships with people and with my body.
The sharing of philosophical and spiritual thoughts like these gives
your classes the depth and richness that keeps me coming.”
“Tai Chi is and has been a part of our life now
for over 10 years. It has gifted us with new friends, healthier bodies, an
evolving philosophic perspective, and most importantly, an emerging soul.
We are especially grateful for the path you have paved, your vision
and leadership. May we continue to journey together in peace and in harmony.”
“So much to say - what an impact on my life Tai
Chi has been -
To my teacher with so much patience - my journey of learning to be calm, “soft”,
“I feel renewed and more than ready to get back to work after
attending Marilyn’s class. I find that Tai Chi is an easy to do low impact
exercise ( yes, it is exercise!) & it has a very calming & quieting quality to
it. The more I do Tai Chi the more I enjoy it.”
-Carol F., M.S.
“I found that Marilyn Allysum was a great
instructor and I really enjoyed the sessions. The class atmosphere was very
friendly, relaxed, and welcoming. Students are encouraged to play Tai Chi to the
best of their ability, regardless of one's personal
situation or physical limitations. Unlike traditional exercise classes or health
clubs, there is no competition and people are not there just to be seen or to
show off. Tai Chi isn't that type of class.
Tai Chi and Qigong is not really an
exercise class, but is a gentle martial art based on Taoist principles that
teaches students how to harmonize the
mind and body through movement and mental focus. Playing Tai
Chi has an energizing yet calming effect on the mind and body. Principles I
learned in the class have helped me to better manage my emotional response to
stressful situations in my life, and how to un-do the acute physical toll stress
takes on the body.
Everyone knows that the mind can cause physical illness. What the
Chinese have known for centuries (and Western medicine is beginning to embrace)
is the idea that the mind can also be used to facilitate healing. In our culture
it's a strange notion, but if you really think about it, it makes sense.
I have a bulging disk in my low back that causes occasional
of sciatica. During the time I took the Tai Chi and Qigong classes with Marilyn,
I had absolutely no symptoms from this condition. Not only did I feel great, but
I found I was able to increase my activity. In early and late September, I was
able to participate in two bird-watching field trips through my local Audubon
Society, both or which entailed four-hour treks on trails through the woods. Not
once during those four-hour trips did my back or legs tire, nor did I feel the
need to sit down on a bench to rest, which was
truly amazing. I believe that the effects of the Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes
were responsible for this. Tai Chi is not something a person can master after
just a few weeks...it is an ongoing process.”
“What I am getting out of this class? I enjoy
taking the classes. After every class I am more relaxed. Relaxed isn’t the right
word to use, because you feel more than relaxed. Your whole body feels happy
from the inside out!
The moves are so slow and peaceful. I am looking forward to learning
the whole form overtime.
Learning the Tai Chi form
slowly bit by bit and in depth gives you a greater understanding of what it is