Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tai Chi or Something

In keeping up with the de-stressing theme I've got going on this week I wanted to share something I saw. There is a little gray haired guy (who we have named Tai Chi Man) who takes daily walks around our neighborhood. We've named him Tai Chi Man because on these daily walks he practices some moves that look Tai Chi'ish to my husband and me. Whenever he rounds the corner, I usually watch him for a few minutes amused and curious, then am swept away again with whatever chaos is underway here. The other day, however, I decided to watch him more carefully. There he was, all 5 foot 5 inches of him, walking down our street while doing this martial artsy thing that captivated me. I'll describe as best I can here. If it's too vague without visuals, I'll add an addendum to this post later with Grayson (or Sadie, whoever looks cuter in a gee) as my supermodel:

Step 1: Clap hands together quickly (4 xs) in front of you (as if saying "all done!" or) as if brushing off dust from your fingertips.

Step 2: Stretching both arms wide at your sides, make a half-circle upward until they meet above your head, clasp hands together once.

Step 3: With hands still clasped, push arms down in front of your body while exhaling every so s-l-o-w-l-y. Release hands.

Step 4: Repeat until you feel awesome.

For some reason, this really works and I have adapted it to destress myself when I'm getting all worked up about clutter, messes, or the sheer volume of it all. There is a tendency for my shoulders to rise up during the day (until I'm wearing them as accessories to my face) which leaves my shoulder blades CEMENTED to the muscles they are hired to protect. This Tai Chi move works miracles on this cemented shoulderblade syndrome. I highly recommend it while out in public too. You can never be too interesting.


A Voice From Now said...

I think there's a lot to be said for Eastern techniques of relaxation and meditation, even if it does have a spotty reputation here. It's funny that the self-appointed cultural authorites in the United States label such practices as frivolous and illegitimate given that they've been around several thousand years and our Republic is all of 188 years old.

Monica said...

Is this guy asian or american? I haven't come into contact with this practice before, but there is such a thing as "walking the qi" but it doesn't look like what you are describing. I'm surprised I never came across it (my thesis was about qi and the relation to Chinese culture).

One Sided Momma said...

a voice- not frivolous or illegitimate in my book. even when i'm (certainly) doing them wrong, these relaxation techniques really do work.

monica- he is asian. when i get enough nerve up, i'll stop and ask him what he's doing. i've seen him doing some more traditional tai chi in the park but maybe what i saw him doing while walking was just some pilates or a maybe he had dirt on his hands he was trying to shake off... :)

Tracy G said...

Whatever works! :-)