Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip #342
Importance of Rest
It is a fact that every action of our body requires energy. Our basal metabolic rate is the base amount of energy our bodies require to exist. When we do work, a chemical reaction occurs using stored energy and leaving behind waste products. It is like burning a log in a fire. We end up with ash and heat. Or burning gasoline in an automobile leaves carbon monoxide and many other chemicals.
There is nothing yet discovered that will use energy and not leave some waste. Our bodies are the same. We use energy, and have waste to deal with. If the chemical residue is not eliminated, the results range from a dull ache to a complete shut-down of the system. Rest allows the body to move the toxins out. Tai Chi is designed to allow for periods of rest to follow periods of work, and usually half the body works while the other half rests.
There are also two very important periods of rest that I call the top and bottom of a roller coaster ride. It is the moment when up changes to down, or down changes to up. When forward changes to back, firm to soft – when yin changes to yang and yang to yin. It is the moment between inhale and exhale. It is the crack in the wall to the infinite. It is the moment of enlightenment. Seek this moment out and gently stretch it with awareness. Your body and mind will find renewal.
Working with a Partner
Partner forms are powerful ways to understand the deepest workings of the mind and the coordination with the body. They are training devices to understand the “philosophy in action” aspect of Tai Chi Chuan. I would venture to say without learning partner forms, including push hands, you will never master the art.
When doing solo forms, you can fool yourself into believing that you are self aware, super conscious,and all together wonderful. A partner will test these thoughts.
When the element of working with another person or group of people, reality shines forth. In partner forms, you need to know what you are doing as well as what the other is doing. Remember – “To know oneself is knowledge. To know others is enlightenment”. So take every opportunity to partner-up, and the insights will amaze you.