Continuing … from the previous blog …
What’s the point of 2-person work?
We are taught that tai chi should be comfortable and relaxed, but when we do tai chi alone, our preconceptions of what it feels like to be ‘comfortable’ and ‘relaxed’ are largely dependent upon habit… our preconditioning.
Comfortable This is a tricky one. Most people don’t know when they are uncomfortable because their usual state of Being isn’t particularly relaxed. We get used to breathing high up in the chest, we become accustomed to stress, we no longer notice bad posture, general fatigue seems par for the course, and we get used to a stiff neck or aching back.
In other words, if we misuse a part of us for long enough, we stop registering the discomfort as such, and it becomes the norm. We’ve numbed it.
So ‘comfort’ becomes a relative issue… “It feels fine; its not hurting as much as it did before.” The more discomfort we endure, the narrower our parameters of comfort become.
But in solo tai chi, although you can sense the connection inside you, you have no way of actually experiencing it because to do so requires a force outside yourself. You are therefore left with your old habits; there’s nothing to point them out to you (this would be like looking at yourself with your own eyes, or chewing your own teeth), and nothing to help you remove them.
To put it another way, we need the relative world in order to learn about ourselves.
… Continued in “2-Person Exercises in Taiji – Maintaining Your Integrity (3)”.