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The Dragon's Head Blog: Putting health first

Since  'chanting for the world’ on Saturday, I’ve been thinking about the new challenge of engaging consistently with my practice. I am lucky that I have space both inside and out, but I am limited by time. I definitely want to do some tai chi before the working day starts, but it keeps getting dropped. I realised I’ve been trying to cram in several different things, each of which can easily expand to take over an hour. So that wasn’t working. 

This morning I’ve replanned and simplified – prioritised. I now intend to do my tai chi practice first, before anything else. The Tai Chi is essential! Everything else is optional or can be done later in the day.

So this morning I spent 20 minutes working on the start of the set, from bow to grasp bird’s tail. I found myself paying attention to what is happening inside that connects to the hand movements especially right at the start of the very first turn. 

I love this idea of focusing on a little bit of the set, and just repeating it. It creates an opportunity to work through all the mechanics (feet, push, resist, turn, up-down, weight-shift….) and then gradually let go of the thoughts and start to listen to the move. Does that make sense? It reminds me of a talk an instructor gave about the moves being like the plumbing pipe work. We need to get that right so that the water/energy can flow easily through the pipes. Working on a move lots of times sets up the pipework and the flow through it. The mind becomes quieter, and more aware of that flow.

Connecting to my tai chi once I’ve started is easy. The challenge for me is being consistent about doing tai chi first. Fiona

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