We are now on the second day of home quarantining in Singapore. I wish I had gotten this out just a little earlier, but better late than never!
In this period where we are training at home or by ourselves a lot more than usual (presumably), there are some very interesting side effects. For one, it is much harder to start and we have to generate a great amount more will than usual in order to begin. At the same time, at least for myself, I notice that it is also much harder to stop.
Without the clear cue of an ending class and our usual handshakes and embraces, I find that there is much less pressure to stop exploring the work once I get started which inevitably leads to more discoveries. This period of introspective training (as Ron would put it) is extremely helpful. Not only do we no longer have a crowd to perform in front of, we also (as long as we keep training) end up being a lot more honest about the work that we are doing. When we lose the feedback we typically wish to get from other people, we are left with ourselves left to evaluate our own work. This is very important as we learn to know ourselves.
This is of course not to diminish the extremely important need for us to be humble and learn from others and to take feedback constructively. These two things need to exist in as full a manner as possible, no matter how difficult it is to know when to apply which aspect.
Here’s something that I’ve begun that I think you should try: Write a list of things you have discovered about yourself during this period of quarantine. This could be anything you learned about your breathing, form, some tension you discovered or just some insight into a principle or concept you have been digesting for a while. Let’s see how long this list can get! As of now, I have written 9 things on my list.
As we all await the day we can train together again, let us wait actively. The act of penning down our discoveries will help us to crystallize the insights and learning and help us to remember them as we mull through them in this period. I would suggest keeping them to a sentence or two unless you are very inclined to describing them in full. When this is over, let’s all share what we have learned about ourselves and about this art! I’m sure there will be some very good insights when the time comes!
Here’s a little bit of work I did with a little challenge at the end!