Not sure if it’s the reduction in coffee, the increase in sleep, the increase in meditation or all of the above, but lately I’ve been feeing much more ‘alert’ when I do taiji. I have basically modified my own schedule to include zazen and zhan zhuang before bed. In addition, I have cut out ALL coffee intake and try to get to bed by 10pm resulting in an average of 6.5 hrs of sleep a night.
In the past, I have written about how felt sleepy during meditation [If you’re tired then sleep] but lately I no longer feel tired. Sure, sometimes I don’t ‘feel’ like meditating and would rather just go straight to bed, but I choose to ‘sit hard’, and ‘just do it’.
I start off the session with some basic breath counting, usually 2 cycles of 10 counts, and then I just sit. Even if I start off the zazen session tired, once I get into it, I feel very alert. Time also seems to pass by much quicker now and I don’t have as much pain in the back or legs as before. When I feel like it, I then switch over to a standing zhan zhuang wuji posture and then cycle through a couple of yiquan postures.
With the energy flowing, I go straight into some form practice. Lately, I have been concentrating 90% of my time on Yang taiji. There’s just something about the Yang form.. plus, when I have tried chen, my knees will soon start to hurt, even in a high stance. I still think it has a lot to do with the side to side shifting in Chen, whereas the Yang is more forward and back movements. My knees like forward and back movements 🙂
It is quite nice to go directly into form work after a good session of meditation. My mind is clear and I feel alert. A couple of nights ago, I felt as if my eyes were like a hawk flying through the air looking for the mouse in the field. I know.. a bit cheesy on the imagery, but that’s exactly how I felt. As I moved, I was completely aware of my surroundings and body. My steps were light and nimble and I exerted just enough muscle to correctly form the shapes I was after.
One of the nice side effects is I have absolutely no issue falling asleep afterwards. Before, I used to be a bit wired and found it slightly difficult but now it’s a cinch. I likey 😉