TIME OF DAY & FORM

TIME OF DAY & FORM

Postby BORIS » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:28 pm

HI, JUST A CURIOUS POINT, I HAVE READ SEVERAL QUOTED COMMENTS ON WHEN IS BEST TO DO THE FORM, INCLUDING JUST BEFORE SUNRISE AND AFTER SUNSET, MIDDAY / MIDNIGHT, UPON AWAKENING AND BEFORE SLEEPING, AND SEVERAL OTHERS. IS THERE A FAMILY OPPINION? WHAT ARE OTHER INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCE ? AS WELL AS ANY RELATED COMMENTS EG LOCATION, DIRECTION ETC.
LOOKING FORWARD TO FEEDBACK,


MANY THANKS

BORIS
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Postby Bamenwubu » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:55 pm

Boris,
I seem to remember reading that Yang Cheng Fu advocated doing the form three times first thing in the morning, then again at bedtime.
Again, that's from memory. I could have that confused.
I also recall he said not to practice where there was bad air or insufficient lighting. Not to practice where it is too cold or too hot. Not to practice after ingesting too much alcohol or right after eating.

That said. I can only tell you my regimen and then kick back and wait and see what others think.
I practice second thing, every day.
I get up, start the coffee pot, do five minutes of standing meditatin in Preperatory Posture then I begin to do my warm ups.
I go through the entire set of warm ups that Bill Wojasinski taught me, then I go through a lot of the Wu style warm ups I learned as well.
I don't think you can do enough warming up so I do as much as I can every day.
After I'm good and warmed up, I start out with the Wu style Tai Chi Walk. It's similar to Mao Xing Stepping, but without all the toe angle re-adjustments and rocking back and forth, it really gets you moving from your center and is easy to do that early in the day. After twice across the room and back doing that, I then go twice across the room and back using Mao Xing Stepping.
Once I've done my stepping I begin to do Chi Kung. I have several different sets that I do. Some I got from the Wu family, others from books and seminars I've read and attended. I do this for approx. fifteen minutes.
After Chi Kung I do a very slow Yang 13-posture form.
After the 13-posture form I do a slow Yang long form.
If I have time after that I do the long form again. I'd say this is only about twice a week though.
Then I have to wake up my daughter and get us both out the door.
Once at work I usually sneak off after about an hour to a little room I know of where I have complete privacy and I do another long form. If that room is in use, not too often, I have a hidey hole at the bottom of a staircase where I can do a 13-posture form. If I have to do that I do the 13-posture form three times instead of one long form.
I usually do this three to four times during a work day. At least twice, usually three and sometimes four.
When I get home on nights I don't have class I immediately set up and do some sword form training. I practice off the DVD of the Grand Master and Master Yang Jun, using what I recall and the notes I made from the sword form training I took at the seminar with Master Yang Jun last year. I'm not very good at it, but I enjoy it and I'm getting better every day.
That's all I can sneak in usually.
On nights I do have class I go to class and that's all I do for the night.
On nights I don't have class I will do one more quick set of warm ups then a long form or two about an hour before bed if I have time, but that's not often, maybe twice a week if I'm lucky.
On the one night a week my practice partners show up, we push hands for about an hour or more. On those nights I don't do any form training afterwards, usually because I'm pretty well exhausted by then.

Well, that's how I train. It may not be enough to get me to Master level in ten years, but it's all I've got the time for.
Maybe once I hit the lottery and don't have that pesky job hanging over my head every day I'll be able to do more than that.

Hope this helps some with what you're looking for.
I'm sure others will have more and better insights into what the "recommended" amount of practice is.
I have never paid much attention to direction to face or anything like that for form practice. I practice in my living room, or out on my deck, or in my basement where I have a small (very, very small) studio I use for our push hands sessions.
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Postby Audi » Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:13 am

Hi Boris,

From what I understand, the most important point is to practice and to practice a lot. Based on this, I would say that one should practice when it is most convenient and most likely to establish a habit and a "virtuous circle."

My guess is that Yang Chengfu talked about practicing just after waking up and just before going to bed because these would more likely be quiet times when the average person could set aside the time and establish good habits.

I personally have settled on practicing in the morning for the reasons I have stated above and also because my practice "gets me going" and "stirs the Qi." What better way to match the rising of the sun and the start of the day?

As for location and direction, I again think practicality is the biggest factor. The form is not entirely symmetrical and how you decide to fit it within a room may affect your practice physically and psychologically.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Audi » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:38 am

Hi Boris,

One thing I forgot to mention is the possible usefulness of practicing several rounds of the form in a row rather than spacing out repetitions throughout the day.

Let me quote from what our illustrious benefactor, Jerry, has put elsewhere on this website:

"It has been said that the first round of taijiquan allows you to warm up and stretch out. In the second, the qi begins to descend to the cinnabar field (dantian). The third rep ?that elusive third rep ?is where you really begin to gain ground."

When I find time to do three reps of the form of high quality (not a common occurrence for me), I do indeed find that what I do on the third rep is much deeper than on the other two. The connections and circles are longer, smoother, and more transparent. I feel like I am doing Taijiquan, rather than practicing it.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Bamenwubu » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:40 pm

Audi,
You are so right. I feel that too.
I can tell by the time I start that "third rep" I'm relaxed, centered and open. Everything seems to flow more smoothly during that third rep. I'm "in the moment" instead of worrying about arm or foot placement or where I put my cheese, or whatever monkey mind kind of things popped up during the first two. All the things that make for a better form seem to come together in that "third rep".
Ah, to have the free time to do so every day! I probably only hit the "third rep" once a month, sometimes twice if I'm extremely lucky.
Well, unfortunately I'll just have to keep plugging along like I am for now. If I were to try and slip in three consecutive reps a day either I'd get fired from my job, I wouldn't get a moments sleep (sleep is more elusive for me most times than a third rep!), or my wife would beat me with large, blunt instruments for ignoring her more than I do now for practices sake.
Maybe someday.
Hey! I haven't checked my lottery tickets yet. Maybe I'm rich!!!!!!
Yeah, right.

Bob
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Postby Anderzander » Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:15 pm

I think practicing in the morning is good because if you do it straight after rising then the mind is still. Though the body is stiffer.

Practicing before bed is the opposite - the mind is tired but the body relaxed and more open.
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