Lessons from Tai Chi for everyday existence

What can we learn from the practice of tai chi that can help us in our everyday life?    I was  thinking about the different principles of tai chi that have carried over into my life. They have seeped into how I approach the challenges of this existence in such a subtle way that it made me smile when I realized that they had affected how I approach my daily life. So here are a few of those things.
Maintaining your “root”: In tai chi your connection through your feet and the way you move your weight into and out of your legs affects whether you are “in balance” or not.  If you are leaning forward and your “root” has come up from the ground then you can be easily pushed over, much like a tree whose roots have come out of the ground.  Think of this also as a metaphor for that connection we have to our deepest self which, bombarded by the ever constant stimulus of the outside world and our devices gets lost or uprooted.  You can see this easily in the way people walk, heads down, paying attention to the phone and not to anything around them. 

Or how about the breathing of tai chi?  We talk about breathing from the “dan tian” which is achieved by breathing in and out through the nose, deeply into the belly (allowing the diaphram to comfortably drop and our lungs to more completely fill).  Would our ever anxious society be more likely to “push the pause” button with their minds if they would simply focus on that full deep breath in, the pause, and then the complete exhale?

In future posts I’ll be exploring many of the concepts/principles of tai chi which may be helpful to you in navigating this ultra connected but uprooted existence we all live.  Meanwhile, “walk like a cat, root like a mountain, flow like a river.”

Categories Tai Chi | Tags: | Posted on February 3, 2020

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