Round 8: Tai Cheng, Days 22 – 25: Mixing it Up


brettzel_smWith the forth week of Tai Cheng, things really start to happen. For starters, Kate and Anton have now switched positions. Kate’s on the left of the screen and Anton is on the right. Not only that but, during the Neural Reboot–Kate speaks. She reveals that she is new to foam rolling. Now, some may feel these are minor events, especially if you’ve experienced the “muscle confusion” of P90X. But in an exercise series that is very slow and highly repetitive, these changes are just Titanic in magnitude.

Seriously, though things do pick up in the fourth week. The Neural Reboot is longer, with several new and challenging moves. Some additional time is spent on the foam roller, but I was already doing that. The real challenge came in the form of the Cossack Stretch. You’re squatting down, butt low to the floor, one knee bent and extended out to your side, the other leg stretched full, heel down and toe pointing up. You then shift this position from one side to the other without moving your feet. The first time I attempted this, I realized my butt was about 2 feet off the floor. On subsequent attempts, I had to breathe my way down low and through the shift to the other side. It’s a difficult move for me.

After performing the Cossack poorly, I’m next required to show off my lack of spinal flexibility by doing the Brettzel stretch. Not pretty. I know I’ll be doing these stretches for at least three weeks, so any improvement will be appreciated.

Also the Tai Chi moves become more complicated. I’m not convinced I ever performed the Single Whip Correctly. And the Raise Hand was also confounding. I’m sure I’ll be given the chance to perform these moves enough to achieve some level of competence, no?  Patience, Grasshopper.

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