January 7th, 2017 by Jan

When we release tension — movement happens.

This is the primary lesson I focused on when teaching and practicing tai chi. This particular study has also been fascinating me for quite a while now.

Whether I am releasing the tension in my shoulders, head, heart, or household, I know movement comes with that release. The fun part of having this practice is acknowledging the authentic movement and change that comes from letting go. (I use to strive to control the movement, but today I prefer just to see it.)

Sometimes, I get a surprise hit in the face with the release and sometimes, I am able to slowly and carefully direct the release towards centre and comfort. Usually I strive for a 2% change — that seems to be enough for me to start the ball of change rolling and I don’t feel overwhelmed.

It’s been a few years since I’ve engaged in a purposeful practice.

I still get outside, and most days I find a place to stretch; often raising my hands, and putting them down. Sometimes I go through familiar movements and sometimes I just think about them.

There’s a place on my morning walk that I’ve been stopping at lately. It’s off the road, and has a view of the Trail Islands. Boze can be off leash and I raise my hands, put them down. It is a fine place to take in some “pure and clean.”

Right now, it is cold outside, and the ability to release tension, much less move well, is a challenge when I’m all bundled up.

Wearing flannel lines jeans, sweaters, scarfs, a heavy coat, mitts and a toque, hinder physical movement. I look like the Michelin man and am not very agile.

Good thing, what I practice is an inside job. Where the mind goes, the qi will follow. Not much will move until I let go of tension and that goes for old ideas as well as tight shoulders.

These lesson hold up pretty well no matter the season, the reason or the wardrobe.

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