Taiji Day 24: Tighten the Core

I think I have the habit of moving the muscles in the limbs when I do taiji or tai chi, rather than engaging the fascia and ligaments and tissues of the body.  During Five Golden Coins, I noticed that it was easier to engage the muscles of my flanks, along my ribcage; I tried to extend that work during the form, and tried to move from my abdomen and the belt of muscles around my kidneys and lower back.  Ow.

Except that in doing so, I seem to be working that part of my body more regularly and more frequently.  I’m not going to be winning any awards for my “six-pack abs” at any point in the near future — they’re not visible, and may never be. But, and this is the odd part, *I* can feel them. Those muscles are there, and they’re part of the birthright of every human being. And you can learn to work them even if you can’t see them.

Every kid in school is the same way.  Some of them have visible talents, some have invisible talents. Our job as teachers is to help all those students work the widest range of muscles they have — intellectually, physically, spiritually, ethically — so that those muscles get strong. Even the invisible ones.

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