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Continuity –

Continuity is one of Tai Chi’s principles of practice that attracts many people – it makes us feel so good that many adopt the language of joy in describing their practice.

The keys are relaxation, balance, slow speed – and smooth, continuous movement. These allow our whole body to move freely, internally massaging our organs and increasing circulation. This massage also feels so good, that so many get hooked on this flow state. Continuity is one of the Tai Chi essentials that can be grasped without a struggle; it is also the quality of Tai Chi most commented about.

Although this principle of continuous, harmonious flow seems straightforward, you must cultivate it carefully in order to get the full benefits. It is wrong to believe that continuity is an end in itself: continuity is the result of correct movement; it is not the correct movement itself. This is why it is a mistake to practice your Tai Chi with the goal of “looking pretty”, a kind of “selfie”.

Instead realise that if you practice correctly your Tai Chi will be smooth, continuous, and yes, graceful. This comes from moving from the centre, and moving with the mind. When your whole body moves as one unit, maintaining central equilibrium, your hands and feet will move in a smooth, continuous fashion too.

The mind and body unite in a “moving meditation”, continuity without interruption, awareness of self and surroundings, creating the bliss of being in the present moment.

There is no magic; continuity (regularity) of practice is the way to healthy aging.

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Rod Ferguson

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