Tai Chi Y3D86: Whoops

Somewhere in the middle of the qi gong forms, I realized that I was not doing qi gong. I’m not quite sure what I was doing, but it wasn’t Five Golden Coins, and it wasn’t Eight Pieces of Silk. No, it was this weird, swimming hybrid of the two.  It went something like this:

  1. Join Heaven and Earth
  2. Picking Apples
  3. Bend the bow to shoot the hawk (with this movement, I switched over from Five Golden Coins to Eight Pieces of Silk)
  4. Spreading Heaven and Earth
  5. Bend the Bow (and… switch back to Five Golden Coins)
  6. Touch Earth and Hands to Heaven
  7. Shoulder turn (and… back to Eight Pieces of Silk)
  8. Off-hand punch
  9. Carrying Milk to Heaven (back to Five Golden Coins)
  10. Toe touches (back to Eight Pieces of Silk)
  11. Spread Wings Like Heron
  12. Toe rises
  13. Squats

Oops. Eight and Five is thirteen.  I did all of the movements of the tai chi form… I just didn’t do them in anything resembling the official order of either set of movements. I got a great workout, and I did push-ups before and afterward.  Progress on many fronts.

But I’m concerned about the degree to which I went off-script.  Does the order of the movements matter?  Have I changed the nature of the qi gong exercise, or screwed up the flow of my chi through this set of actions.  It’s difficult to say.  I must admit that I got sweatier than I have in a while.  I was more challenged than I’ve been in a while, to make sure I got all the movements and didn’t miss any. It was a brain workout as well as a body workout.

Afterward, my tai chi practice went fine. I didn’t miss any steps, and I didn’t rush particularly.  It wasn’t as slow as it could have been. But, I was also surprisingly tired from the workout I’d just completed. Going off-script added a layer of complication that I hadn’t expected.

At the same time, it was a productive workout. I felt challenged and interested, and I needed to move deliberately while also letting my body figure out which movements it hadn’t yet done.  I could have said “no” and stopped, and started over again. But somehow, saying yes gave me an expanded range of opportunities that I hadn’t expected.

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One comment

  1. at some point one writes one’s own script or even creates new movements. this is a sign of proficiency. may earth never cease to change.

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