Greetings. I am so happy you are enjoying your Tai Chi practice. It isn’t work. It is play. Keep your inner smile, and allow your mind to expand. Be well.
A beautiful morning for practice
A beautiful morning for practice here in Port Townsend. The rain has let up for the time being, so I decided to go to the wharf for morning practice. I knew it would provide some challenges to solve.
The wharf juts out into the Bay and is surrounded by water. One direction looks towards the Olympic mountains, one towards the Cascade mountains, one towards Indian Island, and one back towards town.The wharf is constructed of wooden boards and is surrounded by a 4 foot high railing.
I arrived not long after sunrise, the rising sun hidden by partly cloudy skies. The surface of the wharf was covered with puddles, having rained a few hours ago, just as I suspected. I knew it could provide a challenge to balance and stability, yet I was up for it. Since Tai Chi requires constant motion forward, backward, sideways, as well as spinning, kicking, standing on one leg, balance can be especially tricky on a slick surface. I knew I had to be careful, yet the morning was so lovely with the light dancing on the water, the clouds in constant changing motion, the birds out for their morning meal. Great entertainment for a mind stilled by Tai Chi’s stillness in motion.
After warming up, I started the form facing south, towards Indian Island. It is just across our bay, perhaps a half mile away. My goal/intention this morning (I usually choose some goal for my practice to clarify intention) was to be completely mindful of balance at all times, especially when stepping. The body had to be on a vertical axis, or it would be easy to slip. No deviation off the vertical especially when changing direction. Most people lean slightly when stepping, either backwards of forwards, as well as move the body before the new root is established by touching the heel or toe, sort of like falling onto the new foot.
I used a special three count for this morning practice. For instance, when stepping forward, I would count one as I rolled up onto the toe of the rear foot, count two as I lifted the leg, and count three as I placed the heel down in the new place. That meant I spent as bit more time in a balance on one foot stance, than I would normally. I could have been playing my Tai Chi to a waltz and it would have been lovely.
I had a wonderful time, taking about an hour to do the long form instead of the usual 20 to 30 minutes. In a special place like this, with such lovely surroundings, I like to play I am a camera. I let my eyes relax, not focusing on anything in particular, just as if I was a camera seeing whatever was in front of it as I moved around the circles. Always different views, each inspires different visual reactions and feelings. Great fun, great exercise. Certainly better for the psyche than riding an exercise bike in a gym.