But some times when I’m whizzing around running Aged Care Chair Chi or BJ Seminars International (with Sue James) workshops either here in Melbourne, interstate and/or overseas it’s impossible to achieve my targets.
However there is one specific training I always do, six times a week. And that’s my Tai Chi stance work – both high and low stances.
If I’m on the road they’re done early in the morning and evening, usually in a hotel room before I start my day.
For me, stance work is non-negotiable Tai Chi – it must be done.
I now breathe at a rate of 1 breath per 4 seconds which works at to about 540 breaths for my current 36 minute 30 second stance.
Earlier I was breathing at about 1 breath per 2 seconds which was a fast pace. I noticed I was breathing quicker the longer I held the posture and that’s what made me decide to slow the breathing down.
Slowing and regulating my breathing certainly feels more energising.
Eventually when I reach my target of one hour standing practice my total breaths will be about 900.
By the way, the term ‘square’ refers to the stop start method of learning a Tai Chi form.
Whenever you are in an upright posture, as you move throughout the form, imagine you are sitting on a high chair (feet flat on the floor). Make sure the knees don’t go over the toes when you ‘sit on the chair’.
This square chair method will help you align your body correctly; helps avoid the common problems of rolling your hips forward and sticking your tailbone out.
Here are some examples in the Wu Style form where you can practice ‘square chair’ in the form:
- Seven Stars
- Cross Hands
- Fan Through the Back
- Pat the Horse High
- Golden Cockerel Stands on One Leg
I thought of this technique yesterday when I was practising the round form (continous flow) and imagined sitting on a high chair for a very brief moment as I moved into upright postures.
However, if you are a beginner, square up your form with ‘square chair’ Tai Chi.