Learning Yozen has added another dimension to my Tai chi practice. I have trained in martial arts for ten years including Aikido in Japan and Kung fu and Tai chi in China. I have met many teachers who told me all about “chi”, and how important it was, but I rarely experienced it as a physical sensation when practicing before I started Yozen.
Performing the exercises under Senzaki Sensei’s instruction for the first time, I quickly reached a point of relaxed balance that usually takes me at least half an hour of continued training to achieve. This took me by surprise, as the exercises and poses seemed very simple. Even so, I found my body getting very hot and I experienced chi flowing into my hands as I breathed. Sensei guided us through the exercises which are sometimes still and sometimes involve gently moving back and forth. I felt perfectly balanced and relaxed and this feeling carried over into the Tai chi practice I did afterwards.
I’ve found that the more often I practice Yozen, the quicker I can slip into this relaxed state where my body is balanced and I can feel my chi flowing.Since beginning Yozen my coordination and balance has improved when practicing my forms. My shoulders feel down and free of tension and my waist is more flexible. The exercises are simple enough to remember that I can practice them at home whenever I want to.
While previous teachers have taught me valuable information about the biomechanics and coordination of Tai chi movements, none of them until Senzaki Sensei had been able to show me how to direct chi in such a hands on manner. The exercises charge me up so that when I follow it with Tai chi training it is a wholly different experience. I’m very excited to continue learning from Sensei and to see how much further I can go with this training.