Tai Chi and Surfing
Article provided by http://www.taichination.com/
A tai chi student of mine, Thomas is an exceptional teenager. At 15 years of age he practices Tai Chi, Qigong and surfing. He wrote this short piece on Tai Chi and surfing. Hope you like it.
Tai Chi & Surfing: A happy marriage
I have been surfing for about two years, and have been doing Tai Chi for four. This has led me to become aware of the benefits from each for my health, and of ways in which the two sports compliment each other.
There are particular parallels which I have found between Tai Chi & Surfing. Primarily, these are focus, breath control, control of the body and a sense of calm. To be good at Tai Chi you must be focused and able to coordinate your body in ways that, perhaps, you are not used to.
We always start Tai Chi sessions with some Chi Kung breathing exercises, which go hand in hand with Tai Chi, and greatly improve breath control. Similarly, to be a good surfer you must be focused on any wave you want to surf and must be able to coordinate your body's movements efficiently.
In addition, although you spend most of you time breathing naturally (as you do for Tai Chi), there are times, such as when a wave is holding you underwater, when you must be able to control your breath effectively. Moments such as when a wave is hurling you and your board through mid-air, also require you to stay calm; a quality which is greatly enhanced by the walking-meditation of Tai Chi.
Together, Tai Chi and surfing have helped me overcome Asthma. The feeling of riding a moving body of energy, in the manifestation of a wave, as it concludes the final moments of it's life before breaking on the shore is one that cannot be rivalled, and which succeeds in bringing me great joy, or 'stoke' as surfers call it. In the same way, while performing Tai Chi you are completely focused, giving a wonderful feeling of freedom & joy, which spills over to all facets of life.
The marriage in my live of Tai Chi and Surfing is one that I cherish. It is a relationship which has worked wonders for my focus, calm, wellbeing and overall happiness, which I hope to maintain for the rest of my life.
Thomas Tozer (aged 15) March 2008.
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