Fast is Slow; Slow is Fast

If you’ve ever seen Tai Chi or Qigong being practice in a local park or perhaps a park in San Francisco or China, you cannot help but notice the slow, calm, meditative pace.

There are several reasons for this, the first being the breath. We are told over and over to breath naturally. Our breath is the rhythm of our lives and should be the rhythm for our practice–quiet, deep, long, and fine. The breath calms our body and our mind and calms our practice.

Another reason for the pace is that with a slowed pace you have the time to understand what is actually happening inside the body. In order to develop your practice, you need to understand your practice. By using a gentle awareness, not a critical or analytic mind, you can discover your errors or rather, your errors show themselves to you. It is difficult to discover anything if we are constantly flying through your practices. As soon as you discover a mistake, you can begin to correct it. This takes time and patience and perseverance.

It is said that a picture is worth 1000 words–a few weeks ago, this photo came across my news feed and I thought it was a good analogy for us to use as we consider the speed at which we learn and practice Qigong and Tai Chi.

The photo shows a piece of “old” growth lumber and a piece of “new” growth lumber. In building a house which would you rather have supporting your structure? The same is true in Tai Chi. As we begin to let go of the speed of the world around us, we build a stronger foundation for our practice! Fast is slow and slow is fast!

Pamela Hultgren
Lead Instructor, Northfield