Lost desire to do taijiquan

Lost desire to do taijiquan

Postby T » Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:05 pm

After 20 years of Yang style (Tung Ying Chieh Lineage) I was doing the long form about 2 months ago and all of a sudden I had the thought… “I don’t want to do this anymore”.. The next couple weeks I forced myself to do the forms but I have not been able to get myself to do the forms for about a month and a half.

Anyone ever run into this?
T
 
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Re: Lost desire to do taijiquan

Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:31 am

Greetings T,

An occasional brief hiatus from form practice can sometimes be a good thing – a cognitive and somatic reset that brings refreshed perspective and appreciation when you re-engage. Last March, for me, marked the fortieth year I’ve been seriously practicing taijiquan. My form and I have been through a lot together – through thick and thin, as it were. It’s always better to maintain a steady, consistent, daily practice. That’s the ideal. But sometimes life intervenes. For whatever reason, one may occasionally hit a stretch of a few days, maybe more, when you don’t practice. Maybe it has become boring or stale; it seems rote or too easy. Or perhaps your form seems disordered, and you can’t find the flow or the sweet spot, so you become discouraged. I’ve experienced these things, but always when I resume practice, things begin snapping into place, and I have a renewed appreciation for my practice.

Some things to try may help to refresh your perspective:

    Try practicing in your mind. Go through the form in your mind; see how far you can go before your mind begins to wander, or you lose the thread. Mental practice can enhance your somatic practice.

    Experiment with different speeds in doing your form. Try doing your form at a dramatically slower pace, observing closely the interaction of weight shifts with the turning transformations in your torso, legs, and arms. Or, alternatively, see how quickly you can do your form without it being perfunctory or disordered.

    Try some standing practice prior to doing your form – either holding the pipa posture on either side for several minutes, or simply extending the time you stand in wuji posture before commencing the moving form. This can dramatically change your perspective, as well as the somatic feedback you experience as you move through the form.

    When you do resume form practice, and for that matter, whenever you do your form, listen to what your body is telling you. It may sound facile, but something I learned long ago is that doing taijiquan, more than anything else, almost always clarifies for me where I am physically and emotionally, and can soothe feelings of conflict or uncertainty. Even if I’ve been cranky, or sad, or whatever, I usually have a better understanding of why after form practice than I did before.

    Take care,
    Louis
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    Re: Lost desire to do taijiquan

    Postby T » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:16 pm

    Louis

    Thank You, I shall try this

    Very recently I have, much to my surprise, taken an interest in the William CC Chen version of the Zheng Manqing version of Yang style. I had an opportunity to train with William CC Chen several years ago but it did not interest me in the least. But for some reason now it has. I'm am still not able to get myself to do any taijiquan but I am finding his stuff interesting, and I have no idea why.

    Again thank you for the suggestions, I shall give them a try

    T
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    Re: Lost desire to do taijiquan

    Postby T » Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:59 pm

    I tried multiple things to get myself to start working on Taiji again to no avail. Then one day a week ago I was standing in Zhan Zhuang and all of a sudden had the desire to do the long form, so I did... but I did not stop there, I found myself doing some of the Chen style 18 form I learned a while back and after that and then into Chen silk reeling (I have some minor background in Chen style)

    So as quickly as it stopped, it began again and I still have no idea why.
    T
     
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    Re: Lost desire to do taijiquan

    Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:09 pm

    Greetings T,

    It's good to see your update! It sounds like your software needed to be rebooted. I'm glad you're practicing again.

    Take care,
    Louis
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    Re: Lost desire to do taijiquan

    Postby T » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:19 pm

    Thanks Louis

    And that is all I can come up with as a reason as well..... my hard drive needed a reboot :D
    T
     
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    Re: Lost desire to do taijiquan

    Postby sifu990 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:30 am

    i often lose desire to do my tai chi - the same ole, same ole way, that is.. so I have been changing things, which, miraculously, go back to the 'set way' and improve it.. much of what I do is now is isolating and leading with different body parts. let the fingers extend/curl bend back/forwards and drag the body along.. or lead from shoulder movements that lift off the skeletal body as much as possible before engaging rest of body.. now my regular form feels 'better'. shoulders that I thought loose and relaxed before were prob just dead. things like extending/compressing spine and using that to start movement. or simultaneous wrist/ankle leads.. for me the loss of desire is boredom with same old way.. as much as I like routine, this slightly different emphasis is what works for me. new ways to balance, to root, to flow and to feel the whole body, all parts independent, yet interdependent.
    new teachers, new emphasis, new timing, exaggeration of joint movement, new applications.. if my tai chi was doing the same old thing over and over, I would have packed it in about 30 years ago, I am sure.
    sifu990
     
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