Prime The Pump

Somehow, I always end up forgetting how important warm-ups are. Progressing through practice it’s easy to start to pinpoint a single thing to work on and go right for it without noticing the resulting mental shift until several days after switching things up.

Warm-ups, I reminded myself today, are not only for the muscles. They are also important for helping to get the mind in the right place for practice. The very nature of tai chi requires your mind to be present and paying attention through every movement at all times. Any excess chatter in the mind gets in the way and randomizes your mental intention, making it close to impossible to be fully present in practice.

I am on vacation now!

i have returned to the families farm to enjoy a couple days of relaxation and then we all head to a lake in the middle of nowhere for even more relaxation. I arrived late last night, so today is the first I get to enjoy the calm non-city life and it is absolutely fantastic to be surrounded by so many animals and trees again. There has been a growning need for me to be away from the city lately and this is only the first stage. The lake will be even better MUCH farther from civilization and away from any feelings of obligations.

Got up early this morning in time to get some practice in before the insane northwest heat wave hits.

As I walked up amongst all the chickens to find a practice spot, I was struggling to get myself to settle down and start moving. My thoughts were scattered to the wind, thinking about all the things I wanted to work on, how nice everything around was, the smells, the sounds, the energy were all kicking up old memories of the old days growing up and I couldn’t help but be taken away with them.

So I stood there rather confused about where to start and how to drop back into practice, but then the thought occurred to me…

“Why don’t you just do the warm ups?”

Derp. Of course you dolt.

Warm Up qigong exercises it was then.

After the first three exercises my mind was quiet and ready, a feeling that as of late has been escaping me. My mind was back on how my body was moving, feeling my hips (the main area of focus the last couple weeks) and how they were transitioning between the weight shifts as I went through the basic warm ups.

It felt great to have that focus back.

So I dared to slip into a more intense practice, I deepened my horse stances, put my mind deep inside my kua. I was intent to focus on keeping my knees almost completely still and I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, not allowing them to get to mu weight directly on them.

I doubled the reps I was doing for each exercise  in order to feel a nice burn in the upper quads and the inner hips. It was an absolutely great set of Qigong that lasted about 30 minutes. I came out of it with a nice sweat and a focused non chattering mind.

After that I moved in to the 83 and my mind was there completely.

I approached this 83 very slowly, making sure to methodically transition and focus on each move. There was no stuttering this time. I was completely aware of each position, how my body was flowing between them, where the weight was on my feet and was trying to feel the how the movements start at my dantian and go out. This was by far one of the best practices I have had in several weeks.

I didn’t time it, but my guess would be that it took about 15 minutes to get to tornado kick in the form. Still really far behind, but today’s practice boosted my confidence back up. i’ll be able to catch up to the rest of the class :).

I finished off the practice with about 10 minutes of standing meditation. I would have liked to have gone a little longer, but the dogs started barking down by the house and the sun was much higher in the sky, so it was getting pretty warm. I guess I will just have to get up earlier next time :).

Today’s Practice (in summary):

  • 30 minutes deep qigong (Focusing on the hips and leg strength)
  • 15 minutes 83 form
  • 10 minutes standing meditation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 70 other followers

Follow The Restless Raven on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: