I slept in this morning — first day of Thanksgiving break, hurrah! — and that was much needed. But then the day got busy, and I was doing my tai chi at twilight. This was unexpectedly lovely: facing east into a darkening sky outside, as it got colder; while at my back, in the west, the salmon-hued twilight faded and sank into gray.
The work I’ve been doing of late has been focused on my waist. I’ve lost the ability to touch the floor with my palms as I’ve done this work, which is odd. On the other hand, my core muscles are getting stronger and my belly is flattening as I focus on bending from the waist properly. I’m aware of the knot of energy that lies between the belly button and the line between the hip joints as I do this work, and I believe the muscles here are getting stronger.
I’m also focused on turning from the hips and using the waist more during the twisting movements, and actually building the tension in my arms during movements like White Crane Spreads Wings. As always, one of the great difficulties in this work is to keep pressing onward toward new levels of practice, and learning to do each and every movement more effectively and carefully — while also not burning oneself out by working too hard or overcompensating. I’m enjoying the work more and more. Even in the dark of late November, I’m finding, I enjoy the process of working through the forms and trying to find something to do better next time.