Of Tai Chi and Half Halts

Mark has been wanting to take tai chi classes.  While I have some experience with it, and use it extensively in my own riding and teaching, I have not wanted to add to a life already near to bursting with activity.  As I lay on the ground waiting for the ambulance, I committed to finding a class for us during my recovery.  As it turned out, a wonderful sensei I have known for years was teaching a weekly class not far from us.  Three days after the accident, we began.

Last night during class, Sensei paused the lesson for an urgent distinction.  All the world is some combination of yang or yin, expansion and contraction, sending forth and drawing back.  Before yang/ sending forth, or bodies naturally draw back slightly to prepare.  Before yin, our bodies prepare by slightly moving away from the new movement, by expressing yang.  This seeming contradiction is natural and necessary.

Go ahead, pause your reading and try this now!

Again we moved through the tai chi form, only this time we intentionally prepared for each movement by moving oh-so-slightly towards its opposite.  The movements expressed a new and beautiful flow and groundedness.   The “human half-halts”  created seamless transitions and expressive movements.

Play with this the next time you ride!  Before asking for yin (collection, downward transitions, quiessense), generate slightly more yang (impulsion, extension, exhuberance) and  vice versa.  Come back and share your discoveries with us!

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