Tai ChiHanging On - Letting Go

Hanging On – Letting Go


Do you feel yourself swaying back and forth between ‘hanging on’ and ‘letting go’? Hanging on to fear of an unpredictable virus, to staying home because it’s comfortable, to continuing poor eating habits you developed in the last two years, to feeling so tired of looking at a screen. Letting go of ingrained habits, fears of what might happen, yet wanting something new, something different, can be daunting right now.

So, one step, one small step, such as beginning a daily walk, reading a book rather than binging a new Netflix series, joining a Tai Chi, yoga or pilates class, would be worth considering. Do something good for your body and your mind will definitely benefit, too.

Tai Chi Class

We talked about letting go in Tai Chi class this week, how we need to pay attention to tension in our bodies – our neck, shoulders, and our minds. One student commented that in class she likes my reminders to breathe, to center ourselves a hip-width, parallel stance. It helps her relax her muscles.

A few years ago in a retreat I attended, a teacher pointed out that relaxation is not switching our attention to something else; it’s letting go of tension and something we’re already doing. Tai Chi teaches us this and gives us principles and movements to relax and let go:

“Letting go is a basic, if not the basic principle of Tai Chi Chuan. It is said that a student’s progress is determined by how much s/he is willing to let go of — tension, emotional programming, fear, thinking defensiveness, etc. The natural being is already powerful and wise. You must let go of your interference with the body’s power and wisdom”

— Movements of Magic: The Spirit of Tai Chi Ch’uan by Bob Klein

Bring your attention to tension you feel in your body, to your mind that might feel tired and perhaps anxious. What one step can you take to move from hanging on to letting go? One step is a start.



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