The Chasm and the Bridge

 So, you’d like to learn Tai Chi and Qigong but…

  • I’m too tired at night…
  • I can’t get up that early in the morning…
  • I work straight through – no time for breaks…
  • I have too much to do to muck around with that stuff…
  • It’s not a priority…
  • I don’t have time…
  • It’s too complicated…
  • I’d just forget it anyway…

Any of these comments sound familiar…? Can you add more to the list?

  • I just want to relax…?
  • I don’t want to have to think about it…?

Well, here’s the thing – Tai Chi and Qigong are lifestyle practices, not just a set of movements to learn and repeat over and over again. Learning the movement also involves learning the concept; and the concepts can be practiced anywhere, anytime. This practice will also develop your Tai Chi and Qigong. Lifestyle practices are meant to fit into your lifestyle. If they don’t, you have little chance of feeling the benefits you’re supposed to be finding in these arts. Of equal importance to the prescribed movements are your posture, breath and mindset; and we can practice and improve these anywhere, anytime.

Posture

You’ll spend a lot of time checking and adjusting your posture, especially in the early days before you realise how you are holding yourself. The concept behind good posture, and strong stances, is to release tension; to ground and extend your body; and to give space to the circulatory systems: blood, lymphatic, nerve and energy. Tense and constricted muscles, tendons and joints are not only bad for those muscles, tendons and joints but makes it nigh on impossible for the circulatory systems to do their jobs of sharing the new stuff and moving the old stuff around all parts of your body – organs, digestive system, and even mental function.

Breath

Breath is a pretty clear indicator of life, and we pretty well take it for granted… But, if you spend some time focused on your breath, you’ll find you can do better. Listen to yourself: loud, gasping, mouth-breathing? Feel how you are breathing: is there movement in your diaphragm or your chest? Notice how deep or shallow your in-breath is; how long or slow your out-breath. The quality of your breathing determines the quality of absorption, compression and expulsion.

Mindset

How do you think? What drives you to be who you are? What stops you from being who you think you are? What holds you back from being the person you want to be? Incredible as it may sound, Tai Chi and Qigong are not just physical exercises for your body but also full-on metaphors reflecting and impacting your state of mind. Tension in your mind creates tension in your body. Injuries or pain in your body will change your mind’s focus. We can ‘cut these wild horses off at the pass’ when we recognise the chasm and see the bridge between body and mind; when we begin to relax and trust the processes of Tai Chi and Qigong.

So there are three, amongst many, concepts for you to start work on. You could pick more when you hop onto the online classes or join a face-to-face class. To achieve the best results in anything, you must spend some time working with them. All we truly have is time – use it well…