Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 398

Tai Chi Weight Lifting

When I was 13, or so, years old, I got interested in making my body look a certain way – big and strong – so I bought a set of weights and started a regular regime of lifting. It wasn’t long before I saw some results. I ended up slipping, falling, and breaking one of my wrists, and spraining the other, and that was the end of my weight lifting. I had a cast on one wrist and a brace on the other, and that was no fun.

How does lifting relate to Tai Chi? Think about it.

The muscles grow bigger because they are put under stress. Usually, as the muscles are put under greater stress, they grow bigger to deal with this. I consider the mind a muscle. It grows in relation to the amount of “stress”, learning and living puts on it. The more varied activities we subject the mind to, the more it grows, masking it capable of more learning, on and on.

Tai Chi Long Form has 108 different (at least in my form) moves, each challenging the mind to come up with a solution to a martial situation which causes the mind to grow bigger to deal with all of this. It is done in a beautiful, soft, flowing way, making the mind growth process enjoyable. As we age, learning becomes more difficult, and the mind will shrink in size if not exercised frequently.

So the bottom line is practice regularly, involve yourself totally with the principles and applications, share this practice with others, and pat yourself on the back for continuing, even when practice becomes difficult. It will just make you smarter.