Today, I did taiji facing north, where usually I do the forms facing east and the rising sun. Partly I face east as a matter of tradition, and partly this is determined by the arrangement of the room where I do the work. The bookcases are behind me, the desk is at my left hand, and the artist’s workspace is on the right and a little bit forward. The door to the rest of the apartment is on my right hand. As I go through the forms, Five Golden Coins and Eight Pieces of Brocade are in the middle of the room, and the ‘wings’ of the taiji form actually reach out to the four corners of the room — northeast, northwest, southwest, southeast — until they come back to center.
Today, I faced north because I had a video playing on my computer at my desk for Eight Pieces of Silk, and another video playing for Five Golden Coins. (Well, I was going to do a video for 5GC, but sadly I can’t find one, which makes me wonder if I’m doing a real exercise (Except there’s this, which suggests that it’s a workout for elderly people… oh, well). It turns out, when you’re looking at diagrams and at pictures of movements, that it’s not the same thing as watching actual people move. It matters in these kinds of activities what the actual action is. So begin again. Review the tape. Make sure you’re doing the action you’re supposed to be doing. It couldn’t hurt. It might even help.
Back to facing east tomorrow, I think.