Try to include mindfulness in your Ai Chi practice and in your daily routines. Maybe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic you do not have water available to do Ai Chi, but you can dedicate time every day to being in the moment. Rather than focusing on things that have happened in the past or worrying about the future, be present in the here and now. If you can get outside, immerse yourself in nature. Give attention to what you feel, what you hear, what you see, what you smell. Practicing mindfulness helps you to find centering and calm that will be more readily available to you when you need it in life. And when you are able to do Ai Chi and share it with others, consider guiding attention to these senses to enhance relaxation.
Now here’s a short video of me doing a few of the Ai Chi steps. I can check in on how my posture feels, what my breath feels like, how it feels to move through the water, what the wind feels like on my face… You are hearing a mix I made with the Relax Melodies app of birds, the tide, wind chimes, flute and gulls… There are a lot of sounds to choose from to make a custom mix. I’m wearing my blue swimsuit and creating fractal patterns in the ripples that are soothing to look at as my arms move through the water. When I do Ai Chi and play relaxing music in this pool, I am surrounded by nature. At different times I have seen bunnies, green iguanas, geckos, ducks, crows and even a snake come by near the pool. Sometimes there are unexpected distracting noises or people talking and laughing loudly nearby. While I’m tempted to be disturbed when this happens, the mindful response is to note the sounds with curiosity as an object of observation, and to drift on to the next moment without looking back. Every sound is a part of the moment. The hedge behind me is jasmine, which smells wonderful when it’s blooming.
Mindfulness in Ai Chi is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment; observing your sensory experiences with unwavering attention, without judging the experience or yourself. However it turns out is how it was meant to be.
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