I came awake a bit like a jack-in-the-box this morning, and I had the time and inclination to do a longer sequence than usual. So I did my two qi gong routines, and the tai chi form. At the end of the form, though, I was still feeling low. I wound up doing the tai chi form again, and at a much slower pace the second time around. Silly me, I thought I had time!
In truth, though, that one act stretched today’s tai chi effort from around twenty minutes to about forty-five minutes. In other words, I rushed though the two qi gong forms, quite rapidly, and the tai chi form, in twenty minutes. Then, when I delved in deep, I did one of those forms two and a quarter times more slowly than when I was just getting it done. I think this is an important insight, it’s always easier to go more slowly after you’ve “done it for the day.” Knowing I was done made it easier to do again, with greater accuracy and self-control.
I continue to practice “button and zipper” as Alicia suggested several weeks ago now — when I combine that with twice-through the form (once for completion, apparently, and once for slowness and care)… I get a pretty good workout.
On a side note, a friend posted an article about cultural appropriation of yoga on his Facebook wall. It was about the growing effort on the part of South Indian and South Asian families and individuals in America to reclaim yoga as heritage and culture, and not merely a multi-billion dollar industrial exercise complex run mostly by and for white women. Reading the article, I was struck again by the importance of my not taking on the role of a tai chi teacher.
Theres many reasons for the reluctance. First, there’s all sorts of secret stuff I’ll likely never know, because I practice alone rather than in a school. There’s no lineage here in my little office, and I shouldn’t attempt to pass on the lineage to others. It’s just me, practicing my practice and doing my work, and whatever spirits happen to be hanging around. But most of all, it’s neither my tradition nor my heritage, and I’m not a teacher in one of the extant lineages of this art. I can do the work, I think — but it’s not my place to start others in doing it for themselves.