Tai Chi Class

Welcome to WholenessInMotion. Tai chi is a whole body and mind exercise that combines meditation, martial art and health tonic in one. This particular form is the Yang style, 37 posture short form as taught by Prof. Cheng Man-ch'ing. This fascinating and intricate exercise has many benefits and just about anyone can practice it.

Take a look at this site and consider the study of relaxation and how it can benefit you in your daily life. I look forward to working with you. Tom Daly


Archive for March, 2015

Tai Chi Chuan – An Out of the Body Experience

Posted By Tom Daly on March 24th, 2015

Tai Chi Chuan – An Out of the Body Experience

Well, not really.  Not in the way we usually think of that phrase.  Actually it is the opposite.

I have this experience with regards to one of the two sword forms I practice.  It goes like this: The Cheng Man-ch’ing form seems to be ingrained in my DNA.  I could stop practicing it for a few weeks and like getting up on a bicycle, it would instantly (for the most part) come back without effort.

This other sword form, and I’ve practiced it for many years, quickly slips out of my grasp if I don’t practice it.   So if I miss a day of practice, the following day I may have a bit of trouble recalling some of the moves.

When I had my surgeries last year, I dropped sword form practice for a while.  When I resumed, form number one sprang back easily and form number two was lost in many many places.  What to do?

What I did was practice Form II clumsily until my body began to recall what came next based on what I just did.  And the experience of recalling this second form was one of letting my body teach me.  New pieces would emerge day after day.  Not only that, but sequences that had never really felt natural popped out in ways that felt natural.  Something was going on here.  My guide was the body, not some mental instruction or carefully memorized routine.  Literally, I couldn’t recall it and literally it emerged ONLY through practice.

This has created a new path for me in sword, one that has to do with getting rid of perfection and correctness.  I now try to let the form emerge out of the movement of the body.  And of course the core method we use to create the movement of the body is relaxation and non-doing.  I allow it to come forth.  I let it happen.  I toss it around like a frisby, aim, let it go, and wonder where it will fly…

Letting the form emerge from the body leads me down some bumpy roads.  The form is less calculated, less controlled.  But it also feels far more natural and much more fun.  I can feel where I am in the way of the movement.  It’s an attitude and a process of discovery and rediscovery.  I wonder what it will feel like THIS time (which is worlds apart from let me see how perfect I can make it so that it always looks exactly the same.)

My “out of body” experience is really an experience of coming from the body.  I’m letting the form out of my body like you would release a dove from its cage and set it free.  And since this is a practice of discovery, it makes me want to do these forms again and again and again…

Maggie Newman would have us do a posture over and over and over again.  Part of this WAS perfection, but part of this was about letting it happen so many times that the tendency to control a movement from the outside would be replaced with feeling the movement from the inside.  The scaffolding would drop away and pure movement would take over.  If you let it happen.  And believe me when I say resistance comes up when you repeat a movement until you get past “correctness”.  It’s boring, it’s “let’s learn something new”, it’s “do we really need this”?

This is a new goal for me, out of the body, emerging, allowing; giving it time to be what it might be if you gave it this kind of time and far far far beyond the staleness of being correct…

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