Instead of starting directly with movement, please spend 5-10 minutes practicing mindful breathing while in Standing Pole (Hugging the Tree) posture. This will ground you in the present moment and cultivate a sense of calm before flowing into the Tai Chi forms.

Instructions:

  1. Stand comfortably in Standing Pole, with your feet shoulder-width apart and soft knees that are slightly bent, Song Kua or relax your hip joints. Imagine hugging a large tree with your arms gently wrapped around your sides.
  2. Close your eyes softly or gently focus your gaze on a point far away in front of you.
  3. Observe your natural breath without judgment. Feel the sensations of each inhale and exhale at the tip of your nose or upper lip. Notice the rise and fall of your chest or abdomen.
  4. Breathe naturally and steadily. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath.
  5. Continue for 5-10 minutes, allowing the stillness and awareness of your breath to permeate your body and mind.

Benefits:

  • This mindful breathing sets the stage for a more focused and present Tai Chi practice.
  • It cultivates calmness and inner peace, which can flow into your movements.
  • Integrating breath awareness with Standing Pole enhances balance and connection to the ground.

Transition to Tai Chi:

Once you’ve completed the mindful breathing, feel free to naturally transition into your Tai Chi forms. Carry the awareness of your breath with you as you move, synchronizing your inhales and exhales with your movements where appropriate. Remember, the key is to practice with intention and enjoy the benefits of combining mindful breathing with your Tai Chi practice.

Additional Tips:

  • If you find standing for long periods challenging, you could instead sit comfortably on a chair or stool while practicing mindful breathing in Standing Pole posture.
  • Please explore different ways to observe your breath You can focus on the length of their breaths, the feeling of air entering and leaving their nostrils, or the rising and falling of their abdomen.
  • Most importantly,  be gentle with yourself and enjoy the process of integrating mindfulness into their Tai Chi practice.

I hope this helpful and provides a clearer and more inviting approach to incorporating mindful breathing into the Standing Pole exercise.

Please let me know if you have any other questions!