Taiji Day 12: Hard and Soft

I’ve had this sore throat and cough for a couple of weeks that won’t quit.  Reiki, antibiotics, energy work, even taiji and qi gong haven’t really touched it much.  Hot tea, coffee, water, and so on have soothed it but not broken it. Direct and indirect assaults have failed.

It’s rather like the difference between hard and soft form in taiji.  If I need an energetic workout, I can tighten my muscles as I move through the form, and lock up my joints as I flow through the postures.  The result is a jerky, tight, choppy series of motions that leaves me vibrating and sweaty at the end.  I also tend to finish in only a few minutes.  That’s hard style.

Soft style, on the other hand, is simply to remember to breathe while slipping easily and gracefully from one posture to another. It’s better if the muscles aren’t tight; it’s better if the body isn’t jerking around or overly tight.  It’s better if the motions are fluid rather than fierce.  It takes longer.  I did mostly soft style today, and it took close to 45 minutes to complete five golden coins and the form.

Each form energizes one in a different way. But one leaves me tired and sweaty, and while I’m energized afterwards I have little ability to project energy.  The soft way is slower, and yet counterintuitively — leaves me more energized to face the day.

The cough and the sore throat, furthermore, both improve after the soft way, and worsen after the hard way. Hmm.

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  1. […] I wish I could say I was making progress.  But you know, I don’t think I am.  It’s one thing to know one should harden one’s arms for a better workout, or slow down, or engage in holy discovery, or begin again.  It’s even harder when one knows that there’s an entire year of self-discovery behind you, and you could just mine the data banks for what you were doing this day last year in the cycle. […]

  2. […] Taiji Day 12: Hard and Soft (andrewbwatt.wordpress.com) Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Tags Chinese martial arts, learn tai chi, tai chi, taiji Categories chinese internal martial arts, Learn Tai Chi, mindful meditation, t'ai chi chuan, taiji […]

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