You can’t very well tell people you’re going to work up to an hour of tai chi a day, most of the time, and then do a ten minute practice the following morning. You just can’t. So I did a half-hour practice. That was hard. I did Five Golden Coins. Which was about three and a half minutes. Then I did Eight Pieces of Silk. That was four minutes. I did the form. six minutes. Augh! How am I going to do this?
I did the form again, concentrating on breathwork. Then I did the form again, this time concentrating on moving through water. Then I did the San Ti and Wu Chi standing postures for two minutes each. Augh! Still too much time before the end.
So, I flowed into the form, slowly. Move through water, I kept telling myself. Move through water.
And finally, here was a half-an-hour, finished.
I see that building up to an hour is going to involve many of the same challenges that “doing tai chi every day” incurred. This stuff doesn’t happen automatically, after all. It requires training and practice to convince the body to do more than just the basics.