Cicily was born in Madras (now Chennai), the youngest of nine siblings. Her earliest memories of her childhood, are of her fondness for nature, and an intense desire to be outdoors, one with nature. The wee hours of the morning were her favourite time of the day and even as a ten year old, she
Cicily was born in Madras (now Chennai), the youngest of nine siblings. Her earliest memories of her childhood, are of her fondness for nature, and an intense desire to be outdoors, one with nature. The wee hours of the morning were her favourite time of the day and even as a ten year old, she would venture out to jog and breathe in fresh air at 4AM. An energetic and a bubbly girl, she always looked for ways and means to expend her energy in out door activities. When she entered Class VIII, she discovered tennis, and took to it like fish to water. Now all her energies, and every paisa she had were devoted to learning and excelling in that sport.Even a great setback when her father passed away suddenly around this time, leaving a huge vacuum, only increased her rigour and training in Tennis and she even took a part time job to pay for her training. Her commitment and dedication earned her a scholarship for Tennis from the Sports Authority of India, and she went on to represent her University and the state of Tamilnadu, and won gold. If love for nature was the key child hood theme, and exercise and sport her teenage anchors, growing up years were all about wanting to be healer. Florence Nightingale was her role model. She joined Stella Maris College in Madras to do her fine arts and languages, and then went on to study for a masters in Pyschology. There still was a lot of restlessness in her. Mountaineering, skiing, adventure sports, all gave her an opportunity to be with nature, but the energy was still restless energy. Then, in 1991, destiny brought her in touch with Tai Chi. On her skiing trip to Pyrenees in France, she saw a man, bare bodied, in the chilling cold, practicing the martial art, which she later learnt was the ancient marial art form of Tai Chi. The image was etched forever in her mind , the inner calm on his face leaving her in awe. It took five more years for Cicily to actually get to learm Tai Chi. She was introduced to it by her elder brother, who trained under Grand Master Fu Sheng Yuan. The gentle, fluid movements of Tai Chi, helped her expereince an “inner calm and balance”. The restless energy she carried, seemed to be channelised, and brought her in touch with her inner self. It had a cathartic effect on her and finally the trauma of the death of her father , which she carried in her all these years was addressed, a new resilience deveoped and she felt like a new person. The healing and therapeutic power of Tai Chi, became apparent to her. It was in one such moments of inner calm and balance, she realised that this was her true calling. She made it her mission to master Tai Chi and bring it to larger public so that they too can expereince the healing and theraupeutic power of Tai Chi. Thus began the journey and Cicily went to China and refined her skills under Grand Master Fu Sheng Yuan and under his son Fu Qing. She later learnt Qigong, a therapeutic form of the exercise from the famed Dr.Yang Jwing Ming. She is a certified master, the only female in India and refuses to adopt the title“Sifu” because of its highly masculine connotations. In 2008, Cicily decided to convert her passion for Tai Chi, into a full-time profession. She started ‘Force Vitale’ (now rechristened to ‘Vital Force Tai Chi Academy’), and has devoted her life to the spreading of this form, and bring health and vitality through movement . A lot of her classes are in the open, in the lap of nature thus bringing together all the themes of being with nature, movement and healing.