How Do You Really Relax? Try Tai Chi


How do you relax?  There are many answers to this question…

Some relax by going to the beach. Others listen to soothing music.  Or you may relax by having a drink. 

Then, there are some people who don’t know how to relax. When there’s nothing left to do, we may find ourselves relaxing by using technology, surfing the internet, playing with our cell phones, and browsing social media. What we may find is that we really can’t relax with our devices. And we can’t relax without them!

Switching off is hard to do. We are always finding ways to distract ourselves. We stare at our screens all day.  We watch Netflix and find ourselves feeling more brain-dead than relaxed. Kicking back, zoning out, and then disengaging yourself are not nourishing in any way, nor is it relaxing to sit around and do nothing.

For example, when you sleep more than 10 hours, you may find yourself feeling more drowsy when you wake up. When you sit and be a couch potato all day long, you’ll find that you have lower energy than before you sat down.

Relaxation is actually a skill.

It’s a skill that unites your body, thoughts, attitudes, and emotions. Tai Chi is a practice that promotes relaxation and helps you to feel nourished. You can experience deep, muscular relaxation. The muscular tension you normally maintain goes away. Each time you practice, the deep physical relaxation is gradual. So, you have to practice quite often.

Each time, you’re telling your body to let go, become soft and open. Do this one step at a time. As you continue to practice your muscles will become noticeably softer, and then as you progress, you relax deeper into your internal organs, spine, and glands.

With more Tai Chi practice, you discover that physical relaxation is only the beginning. You have the potential to relax your nerves, emotions, mental activity, and Chi energy. Finally, you relax your spirit and you feel whole and complete. When all these levels are integrated in a relaxed state, this is nourishment.

Nourishment is a quality required in relaxation. You have to grow, stay healthy, and be in good condition. You have to be fulfilled. Tai Chi works with your body to encourage relaxation.

Here are some ways Tai Chi encourages relaxation:

The physical movements of Tai Chi help you to recognize where tension and stress are lodged. They are slow-motion movements that give you time to be aware of tension. Then, the form gives you time to interact with the tension. The Tai Chi form helps the energy to flow abundantly throughout your body, promoting relaxation and awareness.

When the energy flows, it dissolves any stagnant Chi in your body. It slowly dissolves the feeling of tiredness and exhaustion and rejuvenates your body. It encourages and trains you to tell you to move the energy where necessary. It tells your body to release the specific point of tension, and your body will listen and relax.

Maybe not at once, but over time, you can place your mind and intent deep within your body and allow it to go all the way through to the bone.

The more you practice, the more Tai Chi trains you to place your energy into intense emotions and thoughts until they also relax.

How does relaxation happen at all?

1. Be wary of your surroundings. When you want to relax, always go to a place where it makes you calm – a place that feels comfortable. It can be a forest or in nature where you will instantaneously feel uplifted and nourished. It can even be in your living room, wherever you feel calm.

2. Be aware of your posture. You want your posture to be nice and straight. Your spine elongated. Your head is suspended from the top. Your body is hanging down. Your tailbone is pointing straight down. With the correct alignment in place, you then establish your root.

3. Be conscious about your breathing. You’ll want to breathe slowly, deeply and naturally. With deep breathing, you’ll be brought into the present moment.

4. Be mindful of your thoughts. Tell yourself it’s okay to drop what you’re doing. Stop working and spend time with yourself. Experience something you normally don’t in your day.

5. Contract and release your muscles. Move your muscles. For example, make your fist and release it. When you do that, you release the tension. When you contract your muscles, remember you have the ability to let them go.

6. Finally, there is imagery. Use your imagination to help you relax. Imagine doing the Tai Chi form and visualizing a warm bath or a shower just coming down your head and working its way down your body.  This is the sinking sensation you feel while doing the Tai Chi form.

Let’s do some exercises where you can become relaxed.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Exhale into your feet.

2. Energize the fingers up to shoulder height. Exhale, relax, sink back down.

3. Energize the fingers and relax back down. Exhale all the way.

Let’s do that again.

1. Bring your palms to face each other, as if you’re holding a ball in front of you. One energy point of the palm is facing the other energy point.

2. As you inhale, energize, expand. Open out. Then exhale, relax, sink back down, bringing your palms back into the original position.

3. Inhale, energize, expand, but keep the relationship of your palms together. Then, exhale, sink back down.

Let everything go. Let everything fall into your feet.

Tai Chi encourages you to use your mind. Relaxation is actually about being in concentration. You use your mind to concentrate and you can feel whole again. Being distracted does not mean you are relaxed. 

What if you can discover the lost art of relaxation? Are there more ways Tai Chi can help you to let go physically, mentally, and emotionally? Follow me on Twitter and my other social media channels to learn more about the art of letting go. Subscribe to my channel for more videos.

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