It’s so rewarding to see my students make such good progresses! Now “Cloud Hands” look much smoother and natural, and the walk as well!
This morning I was talking with a friend I practice Tai Chi with and she told me that she feels now that she got to a “plateau”, a place where nothing seems to happen, no matter if you keep on practicing. That may sound harsh but Tai Chi really challenges you, asking for so much perseverance and discipline and humbleness!
It’s not true, though, that nothing happens: the body is storing memories of the moves in its muscles and these memories wil be permanent. Your body, as a whole, physically and mentally, will remember the form, even if you don’t consciously think about it.
It occurred to me that I found myself ending the form without being mentally present at that time, my body did it: I think this is a real integration of body and mind.
After this phase, during which you store the sequence of the moves, a second one comes: the phase in which your body understands how the energy circulates. During this phase you build up your internal energy dramatically.
Third phase: you are suppose to be able to show your real true, your spirit…!
Reminder of the last lesson
We broke down “Cloud Hands”, studying the arms’ moves separately from the legs’ move. The effect of chest rotation on arms’ moves was stressed out.
We talked about the importance of having the tongue against the roof of the palate, so that everything flows more natural and smooth. This happens actually because , accordingly to the principles of Chinese Traditional Medicine, the tongue creates the bridge between the Tu Mo (Channel of control) and the Jen Mo (channel of function), perhaps the two most important psychic channels.
We reviewed the beginning of 24 Yang and we studied “White Crane Spreads Its Wings”.
We’ll go further on on 24 Yang: “Brush Knee” and “Playing The Lute”.
“Drop all your thoughts and your shoulders, relax and keep breathing naturally: Qi will flow in your body “: maybe my students are tired to listen to these words but they really represent the true essence of Tai Chi!
This morning we reviewed “Grasp the Sparrow Tail” again , breaking down all the moves. Together with “Clouds Hands”, this stance seems to be the harder one.
We also thoroughly examined the closing of the form, “Embrace the Tiger”.
When we practiced the walk, at the end we added the “Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane” hands: This is the beginning of the “24 yang style” form. And together with “Brush Knee” , now my students know the first minute (out of six), of the “24 yang style” form.
We’ll start examining the beginning of the “24 yang style”.
We’ll review “Cloud Hands” and “Eight Style”, of course.
“Qi is free, it is everywhere, and everyone has direct access to it through simple methods that are easy to learn and practice. Qi can be cultivated purposefully to resolve any challenge or enhance any function”. (The healing promise of Qi, by Roger Jahnke, 2002)
See you next week!
Today I was so pleased to see the improvements of my students! The walk is much smoother now and the balance pretty consistent and enhanced!
During the walk we stressed the importance of alternating the expansion of the chest, when extending the back leg, with tucking in the tail bone when we step forward and shift the body weight back. This alternating process is the eternal transformation of “yin” (tucking in) into “yang” (chest expansion) into “yin” again.
Afterward we practiced “eight style”, reviewing step by step “Ward Off” stance.
At the end of the lesson I performed “24 Yang Style” which will be the subject of our practice during the next five lessons. We talked about how Tai Chi Masters and disciples developed the formes watching and studying the animals’ moves. It was common for exercise methods to include movements adapted from those of animals. There are several examples of these movements such as Bring the Tiger to the Mountain, Snake Creeps Down Through the Grass, Step back and Repulse Monkey, White Crane Spreads Wings, Golden Cock on One Leg, etc…The function of these movements is to help guide the breathing and the energy circulation through the body.
We’ll review the “Heel Kicking” and “Embrace the Tiger” next lesson and I’ll introduce the Standing Meditation’s technique.