I have been amazed at the evolution in the quality of my practice that has resulted from the past year of self practice/self reflection. Along with increased calmness and relaxation, I have a new-found impression of fullness, solidness and increased stability. In addition, I have discovered that finding the ground during the movements brings the perception that my entire body is involved in each move. This “total body sensation” is especially strong during the kicks as I feel my body moving out in all directions but is also present in other moves and the foundations.
While it can be difficult to quantify the progress I have made in the quality of my Taoist Tai Chi® practice, other aspects are more easily measured. As I relaxed in my movement and concentrated on fully completing each move while maintaining continuous motion, I noticed that the time I took was increasing. I find that slowing down allows me to become aware of and more fully appreciate aspects of the moves that are not as evident when proceeding more quickly. Some examples of this include the sense of relaxation and muscle release as I settle into the back foot on Grasp Bird’s Tail or the weight transfer from foot to foot in Wave Hands Like Clouds.
It has been difficult to find the positive aspects of this global pandemic. However, I do appreciate the deeply enriching experience brought about this year by continued self practice and the weekly directors’ discussion and chanting.