Have you ever wondered why Tai Chi is done so slowly? Does this tortoise like martial art practice beat the speed of the hare in the end?
Mindfulness and feel.
Have you ever had that experience of walking down a road for the first time that you have driven down countless times? This road that you assumed you knew reveals itself a fresh, interesting things appear that you never noticed in your previous haste. When we slow the pace that we move at right down when practicing Tai Chi we see the process of moving balance and stepping with a clarity which we lost soon after learning to walk.
Don’t think feel.
By slowing our movements down we slow our thinking right down and start feeling the moves fully. Tai Chi is all about balance, catching it when it starts to go regaining it when it is lost and keeping yours while you destroy the opponents in a martial arts situation. By slowing down and being really mindful of each step that we take we can fine tune our sense of balance.
Become the silver fox
There is the old story of the young fox crossing the frozen lake in the dead of winter. He cautiously steps onto the ice which is firm and solid, after a few steps he starts to trot,
his mind already on the far shore in the distance. Seconds later the ice cracks and our young friend takes an unexpected cold bath. He doesn’t drown but looses energy and heat, wet shaken and more hungry than before he returns to the bank and lies under a bush.
From his concealed position he sees an old silver fox approach the lake and start to cross it. The young fox is transfixed, hardly breathing waiting for the ice to give way, however the old fox patiently feels each step and gets no more than part of his paw wet where the ice is weak and tests to find the solid safe route. Slowly but surely the silver fox crosses the lake and vanishes into the gloom of the distant forest.
If you want to be fast learn to go slow
By slowing your movement right down while doing the Tai Chi form you can learn how to relax while in movement and keep a correct structurally strong posture on the move. You can’t learn these all important qualities while moving quickly, because you will tense up and tense muscle moves more slowly than relaxed muscle.
Can you move slowly and breath deeply?
The scenario is familiar to most, someone returning late at night way past when they had said that they would be back, creeping into the house, shoes in their hand hoping not to be noticed. As they slowly proceed their chest tightens the body despite their mind releases itself and they laugh, announcing to all their belated return that they had tried so hard to conceal. Without practice when you move slowly you forget to breath causing the chest to tighten.
A sudden explosion of movement that splutters out after six long seconds.
The pony that I ride on the forest, Romany, has this habit of exploding into a gallop, when you least expect it she shoots forward, one of her several little tricks. Fortunately Romany’s fun is short lived because she forgets to breathe! The key to staying relaxed and energised during continuos fast movement is continuous deep breathing. Once you have learned this skill at a low speed level you can increase the pace till you can preform it at high speed but never ever tell Romany!