Sometimes I love practicing in a tiny space. Today it was a tiny kitchen. It was a lot of fun — the ceiling fan was above me, and during qi gong I had to adjust the position of the (stopped) blades in order to perform the upward stretches. For the squats, I had to move the chairs around the kitchen table. And of course, when you have that little space, it’s not uncommon for the tai chi form itself to warp out of its normal shape or dance, and move around the floor space in odd ways.
But the form ended as it began: facing the correct direction, in the place where it started. Not by design or intention, but simply because that’s where the form carried me back to position. Which is to say, for all the warping and squeezing and narrowing and tucking that I did to make the form work in the narrow space, the relationships between the postures remained the same — so that I returned to my origin point. I was a little surprised. I’d expected to wind up facing northeast or southeast or even south or north. That’s not uncommon when the space requires that we warp the movements to fit the space.
It was awfully pleasing to discover that things worked just exactly as they should, today.