Taiji Day 74: Use Your Flanks


Found an interesting article at the New York Times today, about how obesity may be linked to the amount of food we have available to us as Americans:  food is so overproduced, and so cheap (for us) that we consume much more of it than we would under other circumstances.  The article also suggests that I’m going to have to do taiji far longer than 75 days in a row to see much of a body change.

That said, I know that doing the work daily is helping quite a lot. I feel better, and healthier.  I stay calmer, longer, and I manage stress better (although the end of the school year freak-out is coming on strong… too much to do, not enough time, not enough sociability in my calendar to make me feel good, and my house is getting to be a mess).  I eat better, knowing that I am working on the “whole me”, than I would if I was just lazing around.

Today’s reminder is to use your flanks. These are the muscles along the sides of your ribcage: not the abdominal muscles which have their own work to do, but the muscles on the sides of your body, from armpit to hipbone.  These generate a lot of power on the twist, and you must learn to activate and use that power.  It takes some time.  Your shoulders so often do this work instead, you may want to twist higher up on the body than the waist…. Resist that urge. Turn at the waist and hips, and use your flank muscles.  You will thank me later…

Once you get over the mild soreness.  Ouch.

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