More on rooting: Last week I discussed with students three (of course there is more) things relative to being rooted or not.
1. The pace when one is doing the form (discussed below) ,
2. Alignment in motion, and
3. The upward tension in the muscles.
More on these aspects later.
Being rooted is also connected to balance or lack of balance. The pace in which you practice the form achieves your purpose/intent of each practice. If your intention is to deepen your roots moving slow enough to sense your feet on the ground is important. However if you move too slow, you can become tense. (Listen for this while you “play” with the pace.) Move too quickly and you mask your ability to balance. (PDS and PDS Web students can use the MP3 of me reciting the names of the movements on the student study page for a good pacing. You can also pick a piece of music or set a timer for a minimum of 12 minutes – for a timing pace of a moderate form.)
Being off-balance is not a “bad” thing. It is how you re-root to find your balance that is most important. Are you using the right mechanics? On the physical level the vertical center and relaxation are of the main mechanics to engage when you notice that you are loosing your root. On the mental level, try not to “pretend” that you are not loosing your balance/root. It is always best to take a breath, slow down, and come back to your center. Your root will reconnect.
Holding postures for a bit can also aid in deepening your root. Pick a small section of your form (i.e. the Grasp Sparrow’s Tail section) and pause at the end of each posture – 3 soft full breaths is a good amount of time to pause for starters. It is important that you pay attention to your knee/toe relation when doing this and stay on the “soft side of your pain” to insure you do not hurt yourself in the process. While on pause, breathe, relax your feet on the ground, relax your lower back, and pick your head upright. In doing this you may achieve the sense that the bottom part of the body, from the waist down is full while the top part of the body is light and open (sort of like a tree). After doing the section, rub your knees and do the section again without stopping.