Tai chi is the last chance exercise for those of us who didn’t get it right before. Perhaps tai chi is an end in itself, but sometimes a practice can teach you about others things in life that manifest in the motions of everyday living. Tai chi is not complete unless it is part of the daily practice of living. A tai chi life is not too fast, not too slow; not against and not run away; the parts are aware of the whole and the whole is aware of the parts. Bones conform with each other. Bones, joints, ligaments and tendons align with each other. You are relaxed and in the new place where everything feels just right. You are cultivating life force itself rather than just letting whatever come along and present itself and then react to it. Etched into our beings are channels for energy to flow. It pulses, buzzes, hums, beats in rhythmic cadence. Not static but alive.
This video clip of Wu Style Grandmaster Wang Hao Da demonstrating his form shows his unique style. I’ve seen only one or two others who move like him and no one pinged opponents like he did. He was a student/disciple of the Ma Yueh Liang.
Tai chi is about changing the way you are accustomed to moving. People often work against themselves in tai chi. They provide their own resistance to their attempts to change how they move. You can describe how this is manifested in the physical movements. Though it sounds trite and cliché, we yin when we should yang, and yang when yin is a more efficient use of energy. For example, in horizontal circles or the taiji tu when shifting weight to the back leg, we often can catch ourselves pushing against the direction of the flow with the receiving leg. The yin-yang balance would be to yang out and down the front leg into the Earth and yin inward up into the back leg. A pumping motion moves each leg like a piston pumping up then down while the other receives the energy. The mind directs it and observes changes as they occur, the energy flows and the body follows. If you’re in the Durango area come by and say hello. This summer I will be leading free classes in Schneider Park on the river near 9th Street Bridge on Saturday’s at 11 am. It’s a great way to relax and meet new friends while learning a truly artful movement system. If you decide to come please let me know before you do.