Monday, March 1, 2010

Tai Chi - First Full Session

So I've decided to part take in a 2 times a week, 8 week series of Tai Chi courses. You can read my initial thoughts on it as I dropped in for the last 45 minutes of last weeks session. It's a few posts below.

So my teacher is Terrill Sumara and have 5 other classmates, 4 of whom I met last time. So we started with some exercises just to loosen up your body. Everything is a rotation of a joint or serious of joints. Quite honestly, they didn't feel comfortable. My knee doesn't need to move that way so as opposed to Terrill's smooth and controlled movements, mine suffered from Parkinson's. Some wrist and arms movements showed me yet again, that my arms are not accustom to moving in that manner. We also did some breathing exercises. The idea is to have your breathe controlled and flowing with the motion of your body. From what I can see, that's the essence of it. To have everything controlled yet relaxed and fluid.

After that we went onto some exercises with a partner. Terrill spoke of bows and their natural strength and flexibility over being linear and rigid. It makes sense. I though of how a sphere is stronger then a box and he went into explaining the dissipation of tension and energy when your body is bowed in certain ways. He showed me the difference as a partook in various stances and showed me how easily he could push me in one stance vs the other. Then onto practicing the 2 basic stances: empty stance and bow stance. They are very particular and even after being broken down, the movements are a handful. Such a simple thing has very fine intricacies and once again unnatural to me. I hope that it becomes second nature one day. It was a good start and glad I'm starting at the beginning of an 8 week session. Jumping in like last time would have proven more difficult.

On another note, I ate so much snow today trying to board though I'm glad I'm progressing. Last week when I went boarding, I realized that I couldn't always turn from toe to heel. I wasn't quite sure what it was but knew it was a combination of posture and more importantly my mind. I wasn't letting the board do it's job and transition. I was afraid of letting go of that edge and ended up turning uphill til I just stopped. Now I trust my board, let it slide a bit and transition to my heel. I did find myself taking so nasty spills today, flipping over at times, or crashing on my back, sliding down 15 plus feet until I finally stopped. My ass is sore. I'm breaking too much on my heel! There are these patches of snow I hit and just lose it. I realized I gotta carve right through them which made me realize I'm not finishing my turns. It's an abrupt motion to get to the edge of my board to slow down. I'll figure it out... and if I can't, time to get a lesson. For now, I'll rest up my body and just ski.

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