19 December 2012
daily practice, knees, tai chi, workout
There’s no denying that I feel better doing tai chi every day — my skin and my eyes look better, my joints and bones don’t creak, I have less build-up of tension and stress in my body in some ways, and I have a means of getting rid of that which does accumulate.
The one area that still creaks quite a lot are my knees. And I’m wondering how concerned I should be. There are three moves that put particular stress on my knees — the movement called Carrying Milk to Heaven, which is basically a deep-knee bend with swinging arms; the movement called sink into the earth, which is a deep knee bend without swinging arms; and the movement in the form called Snake Creeps Down, which is a deep knee bend with a waist-twisting strike with the hand folded into a Buddha’s teacup.
These are the moves where I hear my knees creaking most. And I think I have to figure out how to take care of my knees. Part of it is keeping track of my food and my weight loss plans more carefully — if I didn’t weigh 300 pounds, I’d be putting less pressure on them. But I also have to go back to the drawing, diagrams and the Tai Chi Classics (There really is a book called that), to see if the issues of knees are a problem. The Way of Energy may also have something to say about it.
29 June 2012
chi, energy, exercise, taiji, work, workout
Yesterday, I noted that I can now do the Eight Pieces of Silk in what I call “hard” style. What this means is that I tense my muscles, and I work through each of the eight postures, six repetitions, with the muscles tensing against one another. This makes Eight Pieces of Silk into a set of isometric exercises. When I do that, I sweat. Not profusely, but I sweat.
Yet I noted that I had never done the form all the way through using a “hard” style. I tend to do it softly, and rather too quickly, and the result is that I get a workout that sometimes is sweaty, and sometimes not. But the quality of the workout is in a sense compromised. Because I cannot shift back and forth between hard and soft easily.
So today I did the form, “hard”-style. I’d have to say that the results were good — I’m sweaty, I’m breathing hard, and I got a good workout this morning.
Right next to me, though, was the kavad. And although I have morning activities to follow up on today, I can’t wait to get back to it later today.
21 June 2007
coffee, exercise, hiking, solstice, workout
About 11:30 this morning, I set out on the road. My downstairs neighbor asked me if I was going for a hike. I was dressed for it, after all. I said, “No, just getting coffee.”
He looked puzzled. “OK,” he said, “would you check my mailbox and bring me back whatever’s there?”
“Sure,” I said, “but it may be a while.”
It is now shortly before six, and I’ve just come back from a fourteen-mile hike to get a cup of coffee. Man are my legs tired. But I’m pretty darn happy. I feel good!
Happy Solstice, everyone.
13 April 2006
Magic & Spirituality
exercise, music, passover, tai chi, workout
Finally got a 20-minute tai chi music set together, more or less by typing random keywords I thought would be good into iTunes. The 20:47 set is OK, but one track has to go. So I did about a 16-minute set this morning. It felt good. One day a week I have to try to get in a 40-to-hour-long set, but I’m not sure how to do that yet.
I also did the form left-handed this morning as well as right handed, which added another 5-10 minutes. I fudged a few places, like Fair Lady Works Shuttle, but I got through it all. I want to keep on that. It definitely has a different feel to it.
Tonight I have one of my rare on-duty moments with the school on my evening off. I’m taking a few kids to a Pesach seder at the house of the head of the local synagogue. I like going, but I could have found something else to do with my time, maybe. (oh, like grades, for example, which are due tomorrow? When will I get to those? Maybe on the weekend…) Technically, I am not off-duty tonight, so I won’t complain. Most of the time, I get Thursdays off.
Second round Lexicon entries are due today. Get on it people, and write your A-B-C and D-E-F entries today!
3 January 2006
Magic & Spirituality
exercise, tai chi, thought, workout
Today I did the tai chi form three times on the right-hand, and twice on the left. chi report