Had a very high quality tai chi session this morning. It took about 40 minutes. I didn’t time the three elements individually, but it felt like I was going at about the right speed and had the right breathwork. The form was a little fast.
All the same, I was able to work up a bit of a sweat this morning doing the form. That’s good.
There are some areas for improvement. One of the things that I’ve noticed is the difference between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ run-throughs of the forms. When I do a ‘soft’ run-through of a given tai chi form, it feels like I’m giving attention to the bones and ligaments. When I do a ‘hard’ run-through, it feels like I’m giving attention to the musculature. That is, when I do the form ‘hard’, I’m training the muscles. Then the exercises are isometric — that is, training the muscles to hold a certain posture without changing the angle of the joint. The movement between postures, in a hard cycle of the forms, also serves as a dynamic tension exercise, where the muscles move — but the body engages differently.
If I’m going to continue doing tai chi every day, I’m going to need to do some alternation of hard and soft movements, because at the moment doing only soft exercises is making me feel a little soft. And it’s a little boring, frankly.