Tai Chi Y3D181: Ride the Tiger

Today marks the halfway point of my Year 3 experience.  It’s thus appropriate somehow that I’m approaching the end of this poetic catalog of movements; Today I’ll be doing Ride the Tiger. Tomorrow and in the days to come, will be Full Spin, Windmill Kick, Bend the Bow, Double Punch, Left-hand Push, and Close. Six movements out from the end.  Tuesday finish, if I don’t have another crazy day like earlier this week.

Later today I hope to have a poem or two for the fixed star Procyon, which is going to be making a transit of the midheaven in close conjunction with the Moon.  It looks like it’s about faithfulness in friendships, but there’s also a tricky bit about violence and hunting which is maybe not so good.  Have to think about that, and whether I plan to do any work with this tomorrow.

I did fifty pushups today in two sets of fifteen, and one of twenty.

And now, Ride the Tiger. I don’t really understand how this is riding anything.  The right foot bears the weight, the left foot does sort of a half-hearted sweep, and the left hand delivers a push.

Sink your weight where the right foot is planted,
and make sure your foundation is quite deep.
This move is simple, that much is granted;
but there’s a twist in this move with a steep
learning curve: kick your left foot out a bit,
and point the thumb of your open right hand
straight at your heart.  As though about to sit,
bend the right knee, but continue to stand.
Left foot kicks sideways/right; right hand pushes—
is it just a shove, or some kind of trip?
Do both together, like lightning flashes;
bad balance will cause the right foot to slip
when left foot and right arm twitch together;
be alert to shifts in stormy weather.

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