Tai Chi Day 38

Given yesterday’s fiasco with the fencing machines, I didn’t get as much exercise as I wanted, particularly with regard to stretching out during fencing. So today, I got up intending to run my mile before the boys got up. Naturally, it’s snowing. Instead of running after tai chi, I decided to push my chi a little bit. Instead of concentrating on breath work, I concentrated on holding each posture for a four-breath count.

Wow. The form took twenty-five minutes to do, and I am in fact sweating. It’s not heavy sweat, but it is sweat, and my hands are tingling with chi. Of course, to do that I had to get up at 5 am instead of 5:30, but my breathing and my sinuses are clear, which they were not when I went to bed.

I think the performance of my immune system has been boosted by the not-quite-forty days of tai chi. It also does wonders for improving my mood in this dark season. I did in fact get back into bed for nine minutes of snoozing after turning the alarm off, but after nine minutes I was ready to get up and go. I’m tired, but not unreasonably so.

As for the form itself, I learned a few things. One, balance is not a non-issue when you’re committed to holding postures. As has been my custom, I broke White Crane into several sub-postures, attempting to focus on each individually. Lost my balance three or four times, and started over each time. Got it on the third try, and moved on. The kicks, in particular, are very hard to do. I’ve noticed this before, but on the windmill kick, one “lifts” the leg into position, rather than kicking it into place. It’s very hard to maintain elevation if you kick, but easy if you lift.

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