Many elements of Tai Chi are based on the movements of animals, so we are going to start with the most basic movement of all: Walking Like a Cat
Walking Like a Cat however is not about imitating the purring, mouse-slaying, rubbish-rummaging qualities of our feline friends, but rather the elegant and focused gait of their movement.
Pay attention to the way cats move, rest, sit, and stalk with their characteristic focus and lightness of step.
Watch a cat hunt a bird or small rodent and you will see an animal in an extraordinary state of balance, with co-ordinated limbs, measured breath and focused concentration.”
How then do you Walk Like a Cat? Do you remember David Carradine in the opening sequences to the 1970´s cult series Kung Fu?
Do you remember his obligatory side-steps and shimmies conducted in candle-light along the rice paper before he embraced the burning Shaolin urn? Well, forget that nonsense. This is the real thing
Step slowly. Breathe slowly. Purr slowly.
1. Keep your head up high on your shoulders and look straight ahead. 2. Keep your centre of gravity low and your knees slightly bent. Do not lock out your knees, keep them soft and the joints open.
3. Move one foot cautiously off the floor, peeling the sole of the foot slowly from the ground as though it were partially stuck with glue.
4. With one leg raised, begin to place the heel down in front of you, slowly.
Do not look at the floor or at your feet, but instead keep your eyes focused in front of you. This will help maintain your balance.
Relax! As you practise!!!
5. With the heel now on the ground, roll the rest of the foot forward towards the toes. Keep your arms relaxed and at your sides and do not hold your breath!
Practice everywhere: At home, the supermarket, in the bank (unless you're robbing it, then you might want to move a bit quicker) in a queue, in the park, out the park... Round your Aunts house....
Remember: Breathe easily and relax, but do not go into some strange meditative state or start chanting anything.This will just frighten neighbours, other cats and visiting relatives.
Look out for more guides on animal matters and basic Tai Chi Principles. Want more now? Visit: www.teapotmonk.com