Tai Chi is best done outside. The whole point of this practice, according to Chinese teachers, is to unite with nature. Dr. Wu, of the Nine Palaces tradition, says that morning is a good time.
At the bach, I had found a good spot, where I felt close to the trees, and yet was sheltered from the wind. As I did my Tai Chi, a tui would come and perch on a nearby branch, or keruru would fly overhead.
Now I’m in town, I needed to find a new spot. And so this morning, the first day without rain this year, I ventured down to the jetty.
Would it be too windy? Dr. Wu says ‘A gentle breeze is good, but too much wind will disrupt the chi.’ I found a spot that seemed sheltered enough.
The tide was full, and the wind was washing the waves in to shore. ‘Keep away from still water,’ says Dr Wu. ‘Flowing water is good.’
This water was flowing all right. The sound of sloshing waves entered my body as I moved into ‘Scooping up the sea’, and ‘Playing with waves’.
The expanse of sky entered my lungs as I continued with ‘Playing with clouds’, and ‘Spreading one’s wings’. I felt I was moving high and free as I did ‘Flying like a goose’, and I imagined night had fallen as I found myself ‘Carrying the Moon.’
By the time I had finished, and gathered all this inspiration into my belly, I felt that the elements had taken residence inside me, giving me all I needed for the day ahead.
I’m still learning this practice, with the help of the video on the website www.taichi18.com. And I’m loving it. My new year resolution is to practice outside as much as I can, and in this way to allow the inspiration of the seasons to flow freely within my body.