So what’s all this about. Well, for those who are new to Tai Chi, Embrace the Tree is a posture that is held for a certain amount of time. It’s a very energising posture with many health benefits.
Until recently I could never do more than 5 minutes of Embrace the Tree posture due to knee pain (old injury). About two and half years ago I decided to try it again but this time using my brains instead of will power which caused me knee problems with the stance.
I started training 3 times a week, 30 seconds duration, adding 30 seconds to the posture each week. With correct application I can now do 30 minutes of the Embrace the Tree posture, 6 days a week. On Sundays I rest.
Recently I started my journey towards achieving 60 minutes of Embrace the Tree posture. As before I’m adding 30 seconds to the posture every week.
I intend building the duration of the posture, three times a week and on alternative days I’ll continue with 30 minutes. In other words; Monday, Wednesday, Friday build the stance – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday continue with 30 minutes.
This slow rate of training is a safer approach and if my knees hold up and I achieve my 60 minutes then I’ll re-assess my stance duration and possibly aim for 60 minutes, 6 days a week. If I decide to do that it will probably take at least another year to achieve.
But for now – publicly recording my times each week gives me the incentive to not fall of the wagon or fall out of the tree 🙂
Footnote: The photo was taken early morning on a balcony of a hotel in Sydney. Sue and I were running Chair Chi Training workshop and A Taste of Appreciative Inquiry workshop and early morning was the only time I could fit my training in.
I picked up my latest Tai Chi international magazine from the post office box and wandered over to the cafe for a cappuccino and a quick read of the magazine. As always there were articles from experienced Tai Chi practitioners that were very informative and caused me to reflect on my own training and teachings.
I’ve subscribed to this magazine for over 20 years and had an article published ‘A Guide To Free Style Push Hands’.
It’s always good value.
Oh, by the way. I have no other connection to the magazine and I’m not getting anything out it for publicising it here on my blog.
When I find something of value I like to share it with others.
Afterall, that’s the Tai Chi way.
When I practice my embrace the tree stance each morning I find there is a tendency to rise up slightly from the posture, especially when I’m nearing the end of my workout.
When this occurs I focus my Chi sinking vertically into the ground, starting from my Tan Tien, coccyx (tail bone), knees, bubbling wells in the soles of my feet and into the earth.
I co-ordinate this visualisation process as I slowly exhale.
This technique helps me to stay in the correct posture for the duration of the workout.