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Blog: The Tigers's Mouth: Daily Practice and Fibromyalgia

My daily routine is very important for my condition of fibromyalgia. The Taoist Tai Chi® arts have been a huge part of that routine for the last seven years. When COVID-19 arrived, my routine disappeared and I immediately had a flare. I quickly decided I would have to develop a new routine and stick to it. Every morning at 10 am, I would practice indoors in my living room.

As the weather got nicer, I was anxious to move my practice outdoors. Gardens got planted and many other projects happened. Then gardens needed to be watered early in the morning and I couldn’t get to my 10 am Taoist Tai Chi® practice. A new routine had to be established. I am learning the key to a successful routine is the ability to be flexible.

My next challenge was to establish the amount of practice that is beneficial for my condition. Many days after class, I would be exhausted and didn’t have any energy as I had done too much. I needed to find the right balance for me. I find doing the set is the perfect amount. It gives me tons of energy but I am not too tired. I try to do some of the foundations during my day as well but only what I have energy for.

With the gardens in it was time to start weeding. “When am I ever going to find the time for extra Taoist Tai Chi® practice?” I kept asking myself. As I was watering and weeding, I noticed how my body was doing dan yus and tor yus. Every weed removed is a dan yu and every garden watered is a tor yu.

In Northern Ontario we have many challenges practicing outdoors. I have developed a few “new” moves: the Mash the mosquito, Brush the black fly, and Beware of bears. Practising in a very strong wind has helped me be mindful of the ground force. Practising in nature, I immediately find the stillness in my movements. Having a beautiful butterfly land on my hand during the set and trying to see how long I could keep it there was an amazing experience in finding the stillness.

I would not have been able to make most of these discoveries if it were not for the direction of our esteemed Board of Directors and their wisdom to maintain our practice, practise alone, and cultivate inner discipline to practise often (daily).

-Vicky, Ontario

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