I am indebted to Al Chung-Linan Huang for the inspiration for this movement for mending and self care. A Tai Chi master, Al is also a master at getting people to move with the quality of the chi (life force) without getting hung up in perfectionism about doing the form correctly. The spirit of the ancient art of Tai Chi is to playfully practice moving with a “try easy” spirit, challenging oneself to let go of any unnecessary tension.
- Stand with feet separated at least the width of your own shoulders.
- Balance equally on both feet so that your body is positioned in the center of the space between your feet.
- Soften your knees so that they bend slightly. (Remember your knees are your shock absorbers, and, when locked, they cannot operate for this purpose.)
- Gently move the truck of your body to the right and in a slightly curved angle, shifting your weight so that it rests on your right foot.
- Move the truck of your body gently in the reverse direction, through the center and to the left so that your weight is on your left foot. The path you are traveling is like a c on its side.
- Repeat these movements, making sure that you are breathing to accompany the movements.
- Now add movements of the arms and hands so that they accompany the rest of your movements. As arms move inward toward the center, inhale: as arms move outward, exhale.
- Experiment with different arm movements, coordinating the hands and arms so they are together in front of your body when your weight is in the center. Allow your arms to move out into space as you shift your weight to one foot or the other.
- The quality of your movements should be like the graceful slow motion replay of televised sporting events. Some people use the image of moving through clouds, or moving in a weightless environment such as a space ship or swimming underwater like scuba divers.
- Continue these movements for two to three minutes, allowing the movement to change as you explore moving as effortlessly as possible.
- As you are moving, notice any places in your body where you begin to have discomfort or tiredness. Imagine sending your breath to those places so that you may let go of any excess tension you are carrying.
- After you are comfortable with this type of movement, add a message that you would love to believe deep in your soul. Repeat the expression as you perform the movements.
“I am relaxing in the arms of the unfolding universe.”
“The world is unfolding in exactly the right way.”
“I am a valuable and precious person, taking care of myself in order to serve life.”
(from Stillpoint: The Dance of Selfcaring, Selfhealing by Sheila K. Collins, PhD.)