Postby nik79 » Wed May 30, 2001 6:06 am


i am trying to come back from a lazy slump (that has lasted for nearly 2 years!) and i find it difficult to get into an energetic, focused frame of mind. after stretching, and some light moving around, i still feel slopy and unfocused. which makes it hard to be productive.

what do you do to 'get ready' or prepare for your exercises/forms/training?
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Postby jacob » Wed May 30, 2001 4:47 pm

Hi there,
I know too well your dilemma. I would recommend three things:
1)ten minutes of stretching and then ten minutes of just standing- slowly applying the posture principles of Tai Chi, one by one. Afterward a little light Qi gong.
2)examine your diet. I find that too much sugar or refined carbos contributes to such a state.
3)connect with a tai chi class. Then it is like you are a horse being whipped- you start to run even when your own will is not strong enough to get you to run yourself.
I had the same experience until I connected with a group. Then, after gaining momentum thru group practice, you can activate your own will and DO IT!
Good luck.
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Postby nik79 » Wed May 30, 2001 6:18 pm


Q#1:whats refined carbs? whats thier source?

Q#2:whats Qi gong about? ive heard of it, dont know what it is tho...

thanks for the help Image
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Postby Audi » Sat Jun 02, 2001 2:27 pm


I particularly like Jake's suggestion of joining a class, if it works in your circumstances. One reason for your slump may be incipient boredom with whatever your doing, and working with a group can help break the cycle.

If you don't mind elaborating, where is your mind generally focused during performance of the form? Are you trying to recall body positions, form sequences, fighting a battle, meditating, checking out the Ten Essentials? I find that the more appropriate and challenging my general focus, the more satisfying my training is.

I have had one teacher that approaches T'ai Chi partially as an excercise in mind expansion. He advocates all sorts of practices to explore the full implications of the T'ai Chi circle, such as visualizing colors in conjunction with certain postures to observe their effect on the body. I personally find that I am still quite challenged working on basics, so my visualizations are usually more geared to basic skills. Nevertheless, I do find it stimulating to glimpse how wide ranging some of the principles can be.

One challenge I could propose off the top of my head is visualizing you are doing the form on a surfboard, on a windsurfer, in a canoe, or on a water-slicked sheet of ice. For this to work, you must actually feel the thought in your body, not just imagine it in your mind; and you must maintain the visualization during every moment of the posture transitions.

With this visualization, can you maintain your root and balance well enough at every millisecond of the form so that you do not get dunked or crack your skull? Do you still have power to launch a technique (fa jin) at every point of the form? By the way, the idea is definitely not to test your balance per se, but to see what parts of your body and mind feel important in the process.

I find that the windsurfer visualization radically focuses my mind on one meaning of "distinguishing full and empty," since I must be ready to pass my weight back and forth between my feet from millisecond to millisecond, even if the swell of the "waves" does not cooperate.

Let me know if any of this helps.

Good luck,
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Postby gene » Mon Jun 11, 2001 4:48 pm

Refined carbs are, basically, sugar. Sources include white table sugar, high fructose corn syrup (check labels of the foods you're eating), and white flour, such as that found in breads and pastas. Qi gong refers to various systems of techniques, employing breathing and stretching, which assist with the storage of Qi and improve the operations of various body systems. Typically, it is easier to learn the basic mechanics of qi gong exercises than it is to learn a taijiquan form, because you repeat a single exercise multiple times, and there are usually no complicated stepping patterns. There are several good books introducing qi gong, such as those written by Yang Jwing Ming, available at bookstores such as Barnes & Noble. You can also find good books and videos advertised in T'ai Chi magazine, and your instructor may be familiar with systems of qi gong exercises. Hope this helps.

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