There’s no hurry.
Your taiji, or your belly dancing, or your yoga, or your dance, or whatever it is, won’t improve by leaps and bounds today. It will improve a minuscule amount, whether you practice hard or soft, fast or slow, for half an hour or for the whole day. No amount of rushing or fierceness today will make you more than an iota better than you were yesterday. Maybe not even so much as the dot on the iota (and since the Greek iota doesn’t have a dot, you’re really out of luck).
Instead, the improvements show up as a result of careful, unhurried, non-crisis-mode work. Today, a persistent knot in one of my hips popped. It may seem like an intense experience — a sound so loud, a feeling so releasing, I was startled. But — and this is huge — it didn’t happen today. Today was just the “fish slap” as the deep changes I’ve been working on broke the surface, around this one particular issue. The triumphant “oh!” that escaped my lips, felt like a moment of revelation.
But setting my expectation that this kind of revelation will happen every day just sets me, and my body, up for failure. Instead, relax and enjoy the experience of movement, of stretching, of feeling the muscle tense, of feeling the heart beat race a little, of feeling sweat on the small of your back. There’s no hurry. The muscle will pop when it wants to. The tension will release when it’s prepared to go snap like the loosed bowstring. The spine will straighten as the shoulders pull back to where they belong.
But there’s no hurry about any of this. These things can’t be rushed. You can’t be rushed. After all, when you’re up and at ‘em like this, you’re a force of nature: