One of my readers gave me permission to stop writing about tai chi yesterday in a comment, but just because I have permission to stop — doesn’t mean I will. Today’s practice was relatively light. Somehow the “burden” of the work has lifted in the past few days, and a large measure of it has to do with most of the burden of school being lifted. I still have to write comments, but I have a plan to finish the remaining ones today.
During the qi gong forms, I noticed that my neck has been very stiff during the work, and I tried an experiment. I usually put my head down after I’ve bent over to touch my toes — but by that point my neck is already stiff and my spine is very much locked up. So that may be where the tension arises.
Today I tried it the other way — I bent my neck first, and then bent over to touch my toes. Much better results, in the sense that my neck feels looser today and less stiff. Clearly, small changes can sometimes have useful effects.
My friend Matt pointed out yesterday, though, that tai chi is building my flexibility but not very much muscle. Per Gordon’s remarks the other day, there’s a dietary change, too — GMO issues aside, there’s still accumulating evidence that too much meat, and almost any amount of sugar or gluten, is bad for me personally.
I began this tai chi program almost exactly 15 months ago, and it’s worth considering, what next? Tai chi by itself has effected some wonderful changes in my health and my flexibility, but to complete the changes means going, in the words of C. S. Lewis, further up and further in. This means adding to the exercise regime and changing diet; but also changing some mindsets — what food looks good, what food looks bad, and how to eat it…