Relaxation
   
     

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Not relaxed?

Our culture is filled with things that make you anxious: the news, a
dvertising, marketing, media, fashion, trends, fads, gossip, customs, family, religion, peer pressure, war, work, ill health...
An anxious person thinks constantly, talks, competes, worries, over-eats and spends money.
Instead of relaxing, they are compulsively active.


Don't worry

Relaxation starts with the mind.
This is the root of the problem.
Taijiquan encourages new starters to think less. To stop worrying. To change pace and slow down.


Mind & body

Relaxing both mind and body will improve your health and make you feel better.
Your quality of life will change.
It can be hard for busy people to relax, so you must be patient.
The commitment you make towards being relaxed will prove itself worthwhile when you start to feel fresh and energised.

Your nervous system develops a new strength. Not the rigid strength of unyielding determination, but the deeper power of inner resilience. You notice a spontaneous equilibrium that persists in the face of difficulties, intense emotions, disturbing environments and discomfort. You can use your training to counteract the effects of stressful situations.

(Lam Kam Chuen)
 

Nervous system

Relaxing will have an effect upon your nervous system.
Calming the nervous system changes how you move - you will feel less jerky and more fluid.
There are two ways in which we can work on the nervous system:

  1. Calming the mind

  2. Slowing the body

The body can be slowed by practicing taijiquan every day and the mind can be calmed by reading books that encourage healthy thoughts, by watching nature and by meditating.


Stiffness

Quite often emotional stress and overuse causes our muscles to clench involuntarily.
Many people experience stiffness and shortened muscles; these both reduce joint flexibility.


Relaxing the muscles

Muscles work better unclenched.
In taijiquan we discover how to work without clenching. This enables the joints to move properly and
tension dissipates.


Compulsively active

A good way to understand what relaxation is really about is just to it still for a while and do nothing.
Nothing at all.
You may feel bored and restless almost immediately. This is a good sign.
It shows that you are unaccustomed to stopping.
Ceasing activity and doing nothing is the first step in achieving a condition of relaxation.


Boredom

Boredom is a sure sign that you are restless and compulsively active.
You want to be entertained.
Like a child.


Do nothing

If you find it difficult to do nothing, good. This proves that you are compulsively active.
The solution is attainable:
- do not think about what needs doing; it can wait
- do not think about the past; that is over with and cannot be changed
- do not worry about what to think about

Just stop doing altogether and come to
rest.
 

A lot of folks say they are relaxed... that they are Christian or Buddhist or Muslim or something that says you know I'm concerned for my fellow man. But when somebody puts their hands on these people you'll see that that priest or that monk or that rabbi becomes just as rigid and as violent as anybody else who would never ever describe themselves as being God fearing. Why? Cos they're not used to the pressure.

You would like to believe you're relaxed and when someone puts their hands on you and pushes all of a sudden you realise just how indignant you are about that whole thing happening.

Some people are very stretched and they have a full split or they are very balanced on their hands and they can do a handstand but when you put your hands on them all that ability goes out the window and they resort to Cro-Magnon behaviour.


(Roberto Sharpe)
 


Page created 24 June 1994
Last updated 15 December 2016