Advanced Tai Chi Exercises for the Modern World.
BY COLIN NISSAN
[December 10, 2007.]
White Tiger on a Lily Pad;
OR, ROAD RAGE ON THE EXPRESSWAY
Start out sitting on the mat with your legs out in front of you, knees slightly bent. Close your eyes and breathe deeply—imagine the smell of exhaust and the sound of honking horns, then imagine everything slowly fading away.
Allow only one horn to remain: the one from the guy who has been riding you ever since the exit. Slowly relax your right ankle, as if allowing him to pass. Imagine that he refuses, then raise your left arm to the side, extend your middle finger, and wave it at him, moving it back and forth in a fluid, taunting motion. Keep your eyes closed. Remember to breathe. Feel him gain speed behind you and tap your bumper.
Now it’s time to move your hands in a circular, wheel-like motion to pull over to the side of the road. It looks like this guy wants some. Open your eyes, stand up, and move off the mat: you’re getting out of your car now. Walk briskly in place, swinging your arms—feel the energy force burning your stomach and chest.
Imagine you’re opening your trunk, reaching deep inside, and removing a 7-iron from your golf bag. Envision yourself now at the guy’s car. Raise your arms above your head—this is a great rib-cage stretch, so hold it at the top to really feel it—then come down on his windshield in a sharp motion. Repeat until his windshield is completely shattered and he is crying.
Now return to the seated position on the mat, close your eyes, and breathe deeply again. Let this encounter wash away as you’re bathed in the swirling warmth of red-and-blue lights. Nice work.
Bamboo Garden in the Wind;
OR, HOW COULD THE COLTS NOT COVER
A FUCKING 5-POINT SPREAD?
Start this one walking in place, picking your knees up with each step as if you’re walking up to your apartment from the bar downstairs. Let’s extend one arm out and imagine you’re putting your key in your lock. Now drop the keys and stretch to the ground, bending down and fumbling to retrieve them. Repeat this several times. Feel the pull on your hamstrings and the warmth of seven Johnny Walker Reds surging through you. OK, now we’re inside your apartment.
First, extend your arms out. Now, with a rifling motion, imagine searching through your dresser drawer to see how much of the three grand you’ll be able to come up with. When you realize you only have $580 and a Planters jar full of pennies, start pretending to pull each drawer from the dresser, throwing each of them against the wall. Keep your motions nice and fluid. One at a time, pull, lift, and hurl—alternating left and right sides of the room to ensure all muscle groups are being worked.
Continue to trash the place: this is really going to get the blood flowing and stimulate your energy force. In a smooth motion, lift your left leg and imagine driving it through your living-room window. Close your eyes and imagine the sound of the shards of glass hitting the street below, like beautiful chimes in the autumn wind. Now repeat, alternating legs until all your windows are shattered. Lastly, with a series of sharp tugging motions, imagine pulling all the phone cords out of the walls. This will loosen the back muscles and prevent your imaginary bookie from calling.
Now drop your hands to your sides and feel the stress leave your fingertips. Nicely done.
Turtle Digging in the Sand;
OR, COMPLETE MELTDOWN
ON THE FIFTH HOLE
Begin by standing with your knees bent and your arms hanging out in front of you, as if holding a sand wedge in a bunker. Feel that nice stretch in your back and shoulders. Now, with a wide, sweeping motion, imagine swinging the club through the ball. Feel the plume of soft sand sprinkle your face. When it clears, envision the ball still there, completely unmoved. Repeat five times.
Imagine one of your golf buddies saying “Seventh time’s the charm” from the nearby cart while trying to stifle his laughter. Breathe deeply.
Now drop to your hands and knees. Imagine picking up your ball and placing it in your teeth. Begin digging feverishly with both hands—feel the big scooping motions working your back and arms. Imagine the sand flying through the air as a single tear runs down your cheek. After a few moments, envision placing the ball in the hole and burying it under the giant mound of sand. Along with your shirt and pants.
Feel the terrified gaze of the rest of your foursome, who are peering out at you from behind the nearby bushes. Breathing deeply, walk briskly in place over to the cart. Be seated and concentrate now as you imagine driving with building speed directly into the pond in front of you. Imagine the beautiful sounds of wildlife scurrying to get out of your path.
Close your eyes as you feel the warm, algae-laden water engulf you, the cart sinking slowly until it lands in the silt on the pond floor. In a final symbolic gesture, remove the soggy scorecard from its clip and tear it into tiny pieces. Then imagine the bubbles surging from your mouth as you laugh the contented laugh of a winner. Great job.
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