Increased Taiji Alertness

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 😉

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About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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3 Responses to Increased Taiji Alertness

  1. rickmatz says:

    I’ve just started up the standing practice again myself. The Wu style version of wuji standing.

    The only thing that is different is the hand form.The fingers are folded over the palms, with the thumbs outside and dropping straight down.

    I was told the reason was to keep the energy in the body, rather than let it roll out of the fingers, and to build pockets of heat in the palms.

    I’m noticing that building up heat in the body seems to be a theme. I could be wrong about this, but it’s my impression.

  2. wujimon says:

    Hmm.. interesting regarding the wu style wuji hand postures. I have been playing around with the width of space between my fingers and do notice more energy kept ‘inside’ if the width is not so wide.

    Is the wu style hand posture like an upside down zen universal mudra?

  3. rickmatz says:

    No, as I’ve been introduced to it, just the fingers folded over the palms.

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