Work and job activities may cause energy to stagnate and decay. This negative inertia seems difficult to overcome after sitting long periods at a computer or performing repetitive motions for hours. We’re worn out when we get to tai chi class. We don’t feel like doing what we fear is more depleting work. From within a state of fatigue, we fight a hopeless battle we can’t win. Or so it seems.
This is when it’s time to transcend and transform. Recognize that this dragged-down feeling is not yours to keep. You don’t have to own it. It is not your energy. It is the energy of your workplace, your job and its energy-depleting tasks. You can release it all.
Transcend: seek to revitalize your own energy simply by asking for it.
Transform: practice will take you to a new place in your energetic configuration and a fresh start. Cultivating mental concentration to release negative, decayed energy is the goal of practice. Achieving a fresh revitalizing energy is the result of practice.
When you feel depleted from the stress, you can assume that qi is not flowing. Often, we aren’t even aware it’s not. Plus, we don’t know (or forget) how to move it if we were aware it wasn’t. We are tethered to the forces that cause life force to stagnate. Qi binds up in our bodies.
The joints are the obvious spots where it gets stuck; but the lymph system is another, the brain, the eyes, the
organs, the muscles, and every fraction of flesh, membrane and cells suffer from this.
Here are a few mental concentration-building tips. In leading tai chi and qigong practice, I’ve focused on learning sequences of moves and postures while introducing techniques for developing internal awareness and concentration. Sequence, or “form,” is the what and the internal technique is the how.
Visualize the hips being the feet. In order to feel the hip on the ground, you need to connect the feet, legs, and hips into a single unit in which energy forms a solid, yet agile, changeable mass. I suggest doing shoulder rolls to practice this. The shoulder roll, which I first learned from Master Wang Hao Da, is useful for beginners. This simple move contains many levels of activity. A beginner will only be aware of, and be able to practice, only one or two at a time. You won’t see beyond them to the next level if you don’t practice what you are familiar with now.
Get a primer on shoulder roll by visiting durangotaichi.com and clicking on my new video page.
Or check out my youtube.com channel—Video: Shoulder roll demo with Paul Tim Richard