The tai chi legend of the falling leaf

Autumn Leaves

Our actions should be effortless in the same way that a leaf drifts to the ground by riding the wind and the pull of gravity.

What better way to spend a couple hours than to go outdoors during the autumn season on a bright, clear and crisp day to observe the colors, the clarity of the sky and watch the leaves flutter down to the ground.  It instills a sense of awe with Mother Nature and makes you realize that we are all a part of this great circle in an ever-changing environment.

The leaves change color every year and the trees shed their leaves to prepare for winter only to sprout new buds and new leaves in the spring. In our tai chi practice we must be aware of this great circle of life. All of our movements are rounded and we always return to the source; our center, our root.  Our actions should be effortless in the same way that a leaf drifts to the ground by riding the wind and the pull of gravity.  The falling leaf does not plan its path nor fight its descent; it merely goes along for the ride.

When you practice your tai chi you can emulate the falling leaves and allow your energy to flow naturally with no set agenda; your legs and feet forming your root and your upper body loose and relaxed, following your waist.

It is well worth your time to observe nature as often as you can for it has much to teach.  After all, legend has it that tai chi got its start by observing a fight between a crane and a snake.  Who knows what other tai chi legends you can start in your own observations.

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Tai chi ‘cat walking’ for better balance

We can emulate cats by practicing tai chi mindful walking. One of the things that can help us tremendously in maintaining our balance is simple body awareness. In the case of walking, it is our ability to see, feel and hear while sustaining a sense of where we are. In other words we want to use all of our senses to interpret what we are walking on whether its grass, carpeting, or a wood floor and allow or body to make adjustments accordingly. More importantly, however, we want to use our full body awareness to completely tune in to our surroundings without losing sight of our destination. READ MORE