Solo practice has changed and deepened both my acceptance of change and my Taoist Tai Chi® practice. It has been fascinating to notice how my daily practice changes. It’s not “just the tai chi” but also where it fits in my life. In the last week I have begun to do a whole set first thing in the morning. Before this I had mostly been doing donyus in the morning and then working on specific moves or repetitions of the First Third later in the day. It started spontaneously one morning when I took my elderly dog out. While watching her I decided to do a First Third but instead of “working on” repetitions of the First Third I went on to the Second Third and then to the Third Third. Afterward asI walked our younger dog I noticed that my problem hip was not complaining and that overall my gait was freer than is usual in the morning. So, I decided to make a morning set my new routine. I notice that I am attending to different things than when practicing later in the day. I focus on how my stiff joints and lower back feel and notice how much better they all feel when my angles are precise. I recall CIT week where we were shown how we learn from our pain. I notice that there is a difference between the beginning and end of each set, that I begin to turn more freely and completely, that my left hip and left knee joints open more fully, that I stand up taller, and that the dropping and letting go feels liberating. For now this is the perfect way to start my day however months of solo practice have taught me that this aspect of my practice, like all things, will change. Our leaders after Saturday chanting talk about how we are “becoming better every day” and I wonder if perhaps I have moved a little further along the Taoist path of transformation.
Judy, Southwest Washington location, Portland Branch