When we look upward, everything becomes unreachable, when we look downward, everything appears to be falling into a great depth. When we move forward, there is no end to how far and when we retreat, there is no room left to move.
If in the practice of Tai Chi, one learns to move in accord with nature, then our form is sure to flow and follow the natural way. What is the natural way? we must move without resistance and force.
When practicing the form, we must learn to allow one posture to flow into the next. Often it is sensible to slow down and allow the transition to become smooth and even.
There are certain postures within the form when we should briefly pause and allow our Qi to settle down again. The most two common postures for pausing are after kicking and crossing hands.
Why pause, well because there is something about our heart Qi, which is more powerful and some what different from our everyday Qi, and if disturbed suddenly, then the balance within the mind will also be disturbed. It is the same as everyday living, after running, one must pause and catch their breath, after vigorous work, one must rest and if one is singing for a long period, one must catch their breath. Even though Tai Chi is performed slow, our Qi is affected by the combination of breath and movement, therefore if you notice in the forms that the posture of crossing hands is performed after a prolonged series of advancing postures and causes our heart Qi to pull at our mind, for sudden and prolonged advancement excites the Qi as so does kicking, the act of standing on one leg, makes the body and mind to feel insecure and is constantly looking to ground itself again.
What is most unnoticed by the student is that if we slowed down our natural walking movement, we will see a micro pause between steps as we have to go backwards before we move forward, sometimes this breaks down and we loose our balance or stability in our minds. So what has this got to do with personal growth in Tai Chi. Stop rushing through life and take moments out to pause and evaluate by allowing the mind to relax. The heart Qi is our most powerful Qi, it is the very essence of our connection to all living things, therefore when opening up this wonderful Qi, one should treat it with the respect it deserves and not allow it to become damaged in its quality in any way. By this I mean listen to your energy. Start from stillness, move into the form with even and slow movements, change between postures by blending one into the other, slow down for some changes and pause for others, all are part of personal growth, the natural way of the great heart medicine expressed through our performance of the forms. Even the cosmos pauses for breath in her continuous desire to grow.
Happy Tai Chi to you all
Master Vasilios 2015 © Cyprus tai Chi & Qigong school