Thank you Mark for making another video. I really liked this lesson. I find working on (sustained) mental focus takes quite a bit more effort than just physical movement. Especially for the hour. But combine the two, or really three, (six?) harmonies is golden. It's nice to be able to go back and review.
I missed a few of your previous lessons and I intend to go back and practice them also.
Also, no new art? I miss your rotating display.
Without feedback, it's hard to know which unconscious things I'm doing, so after the class I recorded myself doing the punching exercise again. And of course, I could see myself doing many of the things that you've said not to do: bending my head forward, letting my rear hand creep forward when I re-set, dropping my weight just before I jab.
It made me realize that I could just record myself doing a whole class and then have a better understanding of what I need to work on. It might be depressing, though .
I also found it useful to be reminded to not force our actions, but rather to have an intention and let the movement happen.
Oh, I liked this one. The warding off exercise with pushing and picking up feet in alternation was so intense - both mentally and physically. I think it got my heart rate to my upper limit. It never stops to amaze me how that happens with this taiji you are having us do, sifu M! Anyways, I optimistically hope that my Yi was at work
Loved the punching bit, too.
Have a great rest of your weekend, everyone. I felt your energy this morning.
I so relate, sustaining mental focus is such a challenge! For me, I have noticed, the more I practice this new way of practicing, the better it gets. I stay in focus longer and easier, not all the time but... I always found that being in the park as a group helped me to concentrate (although Mark disagrees, he says that I talk too much there, maybe true also) and now I have to learn to do it under different circumstances, which is destructing in itself. I think it is a good challenge. Let me know how you do with more practice.
I miss the rotating display too a little :) it was fun
I enjoyed learning to punch. Because the movement was so streamlined I could feel (a few times) an energy transfer from feet to fist. I tried being clear about where the energy was coming from, but as soon as I had any extraneous movement the transfer became muddied (small movements affect the whole body, right?). It was tricky to keep focus and intention throughout the movement. The punches would begin well, but by the time they supposedly landed they were weak. I thought maybe that was because I was leading with my left side, not my dominant hand, but tried leading with the right and same deal. Then there was the matter of weight shift. I think I was shifting too much weight to the rear leg at the end of the double punch, like almost all of it which didn't seem right. Punching a bag might be helpful or maybe I could get Roger (Roger Steeb, of course) to volunteer!
Mark, during your introduction, the sound of your voice was softer than when you normally talk while doing the class. The good thing is that I could refer to the written explanation on your web site. I was hoping that you could make your introduction a little louder, about equal to the volume of you talking while you do the class.
I went back to this class to do it a second time and the sound was a lot clearer! Who knows if you did anything, however, I could understand your introduction and felt the sound was crisper. Maybe it was also because I read the text for the second time.But, I think the sound was quite clear now.
Hi Tatiana, I agree, as with everything, making mental focus a priority, practice helps. I'm lagging behind in practice these last several days, so I have to say, not practicing is not good!
and for me, practicing in a group at the park or LanSu, it is easier to focus and stay on task. Peer pressure or peer synergy helps me keep my mind and body on just taichi...less wandering.
I 'm looking forward to getting back to it!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and going on's with us!
I agree so completely - practicing with our group in the park or in Lan Su is so special. I too feel the synergy and am susceptible to peer pressure - I look forward to our reunion so very much.
About staying current with practice - these days life is undeniably stressful and demanding in so many new ways. I have noticed that whenever I do mindful exercise of any sort, it helps me to deal, feel better and stronger. Knowing all that, I also fall behind often in my tai chi practice. We all do our best and I love it that I have this practice whenever I have mental and physical space for it, it teaches me so much. Good luck to us :)