In order to try some new water activities this summer, I took a swimming class. It’s interesting that on the first day of my swim class, the first thing I learned was "relax". Relaxing helps your body float on top of the water. In the classes to follow, I learned few more things that are all very similar to what we need to do in Tai Chi. I've listed some of them below to share with you. How many Tai Chi principles you can find in these swimming fundamentals?
1. Keep your body straight. If you try to lift your head up, your body will sink down in the water.
2. It’s not how fast you kick that makes you move faster. It’s how far your arm reaches and pulls in each time. The more relaxed your elbow, the further you can reach, and the further you will swim on each stroke.
3. Don’t try to use force to lift your arm, use the turning of your body to naturally raise your arm and relax down to reach the water.
4. You need to make sure your arms reach the center in order to form a line with your body.
5. Don’t try to turn and lift your head, but turn your waist and body to bring your mouth out of the water to breathe.
6. You don’t have to turn a lot to bring your mouth out of the water; just turn enough to take a breath while minimizing your energy as much as possible.
7. You need to have good coordination of your upper body (arms) and lower body (legs kicking).
8. Keep your eyes focused while you swim so you don’t hit the pool wall!
As the summer comes to a close, keep these in mind as you transition back from the water to the Tai Chi studio.
Copyright Huan's Tai Chi 2010