Tai Chi Y2D354: More than one breath

Back on Day 174 of this year, I was thinking about working through the form, “one for completion, and twice for errata.” I didn’t read the entry until after I’d done my morning tai chi today, and it’s interesting to me that I was thinking about the need for multiple repetitions of the form in each daily practice six months ago.  But it’s only been in the last few days that I’ve been implementing it. (Also I note the presence of a list of the individual postures in the tai chi form in this entry. That’s useful!)

Back on Day 354 last year, I was writing about the challenges of getting back into a routine after a week of vacation.  But I was also musing on the fact that perfect tai chi probably doesn’t exist in this world.  It’s not possible to achieve exactly the right speed, the right form, the right breath and the right intention, each and every moment of a tai chi practice.  And that’s OK. We can approach perfection asymptotically.  That’s enough. Back on Day 174 last year, it was all about balance — another issue I’m wrestling with these days, as I repeat the form once for completion and twice for errata.

I have to say, now that there’s an archive to reach back into, there’s a new power to my tai chi.  First of all, I’m now repeating the tai chi form twice each morning, in part because I’ve been struggling to get it right the first time through; and second because I find the second run-through usually has better breath-work and is closer to running at the right speed.  The use of the first run-through is for showing that I’m done.  The second is for finding the right combination of breathwork and movement.  It’s easier the second time through to allocate two breaths, or sometimes three, to each movement. The body has limbered up a bit, and it’s more ready to try again.  The second time through also feels more natural, like — having done it once already — the body is more ready to follow its program.

The last few days, i’ve been trying to be in bed by nine, reading until 9:30, and asleep before 9:45 pm.  I’ve succeeded on the evening end of the “go to bed at a regular hour” part, but I’m having quite a bit of difficulty staying asleep until the alarm goes off at 5:00 am. There are teachers who are on an 8pm to 4:00 am sleep schedule, but I’d like to not be one of them.  On the other hand, I’m coming awake and being alert, so I’m using some of the morning awake time to practice deep breathing, and meditate. So far it’s been quite beneficial.

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