Thursday, March 22, 2012

Moving the Chi While Seated

This morning's T'ai Chi Chih class practice kept me going through the afternoon. Some of my longterm students are beginning to experience body changes and I found it wonderful today to observe their self-care.

One student brought her own recently purchased stool to class and, when she tired, sat for a portion of the practice. Another student snatched a nearby chair partway through practice and finished while seated. More and more, I encourage students to try the seated practice whenever they have body issues that require them to modify the traditional standing/moving practice. Why? Because it works for me.

It's interesting to note that people think it strange to do a moving meditation practice while sitting down. What I've discovered, and what I point out, is that just because you're seated doesn't mean that you're not moving.

Whenever you follow t'ai tien (your center), there's movement enough to stimulate the flow of Chi. Plus, even though you're not engaged in a full weight shift, when you watch your body from a side view (either when positioned before a mirror or a darkened window), you discover that your body is, indeed, moving forward and back.

One cautionary note: always keep in mind that you are suspended from above so that your spine remains straight and you lead from your belly instead of leading with your shoulders and/or upper body.... Ta da! The result is an enjoyable, energy-filled T'ai Chi Chih practice. (Keep in mind that it takes practice to feel totally comfortable with this new way of moving while seated just as it took practice to feel comfortable with the standing, weight-shifting form of T'ai Chi Chih.)

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