Roll with it…

I was never all that keen on the 90s band Oasis but when they wrote the song ‘Roll with it’ they were on to something. Going with the flow or indeed rolling with the punches is a key part of the Tai Chi approach to training body and mind and is vital, of course, for dealing with all of life’s ups and downs. For when you resist something it creates tension.

Tension or more specifically the tension that comes from our incessant interference with natural processes, impedes movement, flow and our ability to relax and deal with life in a wholesome way.

The first thing we experiment with and consequently learn in Tai Chi is how to progressively let go of tension and resistance on a physical and mental level. This allows us to develop our awareness and facilitates the ability to move fluidly and effortlessly whilst retaining stability, balance and strength but without becoming rigid or stuck in our ways. As we begin to realise this on a basic physical level (which is quite difficult for most people-especially those who are looking for mystery or subtle energies) it naturally starts to permeate how we live our lives. This is an extremely useful skill to cultivate and comprises the first step on the Tai Chi journey.

So, for me 2016 has already had it’s fair share of ups and downs. All of my new classes are busy with great students keen to learn the art, which is quite delightful and something that makes me very happy. On the downside however, I recently had a very close brush with my own mortality when I managed to crash my car (AKA The Blue Dragon) into a tree on the Chilgrove Road one stormy Saturday morning. Fortunately, I escaped with only a few cuts and bruises and I was very lucky that my Tai Chi body structure absorbed much of the impact. Indeed, the paramedics who attended to me were very surprised at my lack of injury. I am just left with a lump of the windscreen stuck in my hand as a painful reminder….

Happy to have survived!

 

High impact!

Just to top it off the lovely new replacement car I bought (imaginatively  named The Dark Blue Dragon) was promptly stolen from Brighton three days later! What can you do? After a few deep breaths I realised that material possessions, of course, just come and go like the tide and there’s nothing else to do but let go and move forwards (and sort out all the paperwork!) You just have to roll with it…

Sussex Tai Chi

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6 Responses to Roll with it…

  1. kinectmethod says:

    This especially resonates with me..In the past my tension has come from trying too hard. Desperate to get the movements correct, put in extra practice and understand finer details before I was ready. This mental tension from trying hard would shine through my body. It wasn’t until I learnt to relax, not rush and enjoy my practice that my body was also able to let go too. Sure enough my Tai Chi came on leaps and bounds.

  2. Andy Jukes says:

    Yes, this brings back memories of early workshops with instructors telling me to “Just relax.” Me replying, through teeth, “I am bloody relaxed!” It seems so simple, and it is so hard.
    I have Parkinson’s Disease, and I am very conscious that my body holds enormous amounts of tension which I have to deal with. The distinctive Parkinson’s tremor, most apparent in my right arm, arises due to tension in the muscles. Tai chi has been invaluable in teaching me ways to deal with this. I have slowly learned ways to relax my body and mind in order to perform a tai chi set. And, as you point out, the lessons learned in tai chi flow into our everyday lives. It is a wonderful gift.
    A tai chi friend of mine was hit by a car. Doctors were amazed that he survived with only superficial injuries. They put it down to his tai chi training which meant he rolled with the impact.
    Thanks for your words. As ever, there is much there to think upon.

  3. Sheila says:

    I can’t help but feel shocked at the damage, and so thankful that you are ok.

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