Tai Chi y2d361: Loosing the Armor

I’m sitting here crying.  It feels good.

Every so often, the tai chi practice triggers a physical release of some kind. In this case, today, it seems to have broken through some sort of an emotional block about something.  I won’t go into detail about what, because I’m not entirely sure that I know yet.  But the bad practices of the last few days are behind me, and I got in a really good, really slow practice, and a lot of things went really well. Breathwork was good, posture was good, the flow of movements and the movements themselves were  excellent, and I even had time to lie down and do some stretching exercises between the first set of qi gong movements and the second.  Awesome.

If there was a flaw in today’s tai chi, I’d have to say that it came on the first spin, which is actually a half spin from facing east to facing west, between Golden Pheasants and the kicks on one side, and Box Ears with Fists on the other. Although I didn’t get tripped up on my pajamas today, the real challenge lay in the practice of the “Three Nails”. I heard about this from my teacher, who heard about it from William C.C. Chen, who allegedly teaches his students to ground their feet in in the position of the big toe, the ball of the foot, and the heel.  Sometimes, I do this very well: when I spin, I lift the toe and heel, and spin on the ball of the foot.  Sometimes — as today — I try to spin with the big toe and the ball of the foot both still anchored, and the heel alone lifted. 

This is not a successful way to spin.

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