Change is easier for some than others

Tai chi is all about change on several levels. Change is easier for some than for others. How can you make it easier for yourself? In tai chi, you can pinpoint how. It’s a matter of simply moving differently from what you are accustomed to. Visualize the parts of the body and see them move. Feel them and how they move. Describe to yourself what they are doing as they move one way or another.

The Focus
Here are some things to put into play when you practice. Focus on a specific manner of movement, such as direction, speed, pressure, rhythm, range of motion, where movement occurs, and from where it originates, which is super important.

The transition from one direction of travel to another is a key moment in the move. How you do that affects the other features of your effort. Range of motion involves whether your movement is limited or hindered, or over-extended. The shape of the move is about how round or how linear. Which is preferable?

What is the pattern of the motion—is it smooth, stuttered, hesitant, performed with abandon, or guarded?

Pay attention to these features of practice and note how they manifest in your practice in order to help understand more about their effectiveness. Tai chi is not just about memorizing a sequence of postures and transitions. It is, more deeply, about how you perform the movement. It is this deeper, internal awareness and ability that you can apply to other facets of life to improve and enhance them.

An Exercise
Stand in Wu Ji (Instructions are found in an earlier post). Simply focus your attention on your sacrum where your tailbone is located and move that in the shape of a figure 8 while holding your spine straight and even. Don’t sway, just shift the tailbone/sacrum/hips in a figure 8 while standing in Wu Ji. See how long you can focus your mind on the sacrum while doing the move. Allow the arms to hang loosely and sway in response to the turning of the tailbone and spine. The legs stay in position and spiral up and down. The spiraling stays close to the bone alignment or central equilibrium.