“Heru, will you press against me in a manner that you think will benefit my training?” I ask as I settle in to the posture.
“Your shoulders are not even at all,” he responds.
I roll my right shoulder and hear a pop.
“Align these two points.”
I make another small adjustment.
“And this one…and this one….here.”
I bring my awareness to the dots he mentally marks for me.
“Your hip has a tight spot in it. Fix that.”
I make more minute adjustments as I test the small muscle fibers and try to redirect the energy flows. I’m not too sure of the results, but he seems satisfied.
“I’m going to start pressing now.”
I feel my temperature rise slightly. Slowly, he increases the pressure.
“Harder,” I tell him.
“I don’t think you realize how hard I am pushing, which is good, but if I press any harder, you won’t make it to the timer.”
I become aware of the micro instabilities in the muscle and realize that he has a point. I might remain standing during that time, but if I lose my form, then what good is it?
He warns me not to collapse when it’s time to let go. I nod inwardly, remembering that if you lean against the incoming force, you become dependent upon it. Then he warns me, in advance, not to startle when the timer goes off. He suggests that I will really want to change that sound later.
“It’s almost time. I’m going to let go now.”
I feel the pressure recede. It no longer masks the fatigue that has started to set in.
“Slow deep breaths,” he reminds me.
I startle slightly when the alarm does go off, but since he warned me, I make an effort to remain still. He tells me to ignore the noise and wake slowly.
My eyes open. After a few seconds, I bend forward to rub my legs, then pull myself back to a standing position. I press the button to stop the annoying sound. Then he tells me to walk it off.
That’s standing meditation with Heru riding shot gun. Earlier I had some dance (and trance) time to warm up, then a short workout thanks to an app on my phone. Out of those three, the standing is the hardest, but if I want to reap the benefits of real tai chi, then it’s the most important. It’s amazing how standing still and relaxing can be so much work. I’ve had lunch, showered, written a short post, and my legs are still tingly. It’s good.