Y'Chi of the Natural Swimmer
Applying the discipline of Y’Chi is a practice of many professional athletes, whether they realize it, or not. It improves your efficiency and speed, by giving you the ability to sense your body’s movements. This helps you detect whether you are doing them correctly, or not. Obtaining graceful speed, through the use of YChi, is a great skill to acquire.
You may be asking yourself, “What is Y’Chi?” and it’s important to understand it, if you hope to master it, correctly. Chi is the energy, which circulates through your body, supporting movement or directing all your energy and movements, toward an ultimate goal. In T’ai Chi, there is a discipline called YChi, (pronounced ee-chee). Y is the ability to direct your chi towards a visual reward or goal, through the use of your eyes. Y’Chi is focusing your eyes on an ultimate goal or reward and then, all of your energy and movements are directed towards obtaining it.
With a focused mind and a responsive body, it’s possible to utilize YChi, in the mastery of becoming a natural swimmer. Your eyes are to be focused on a distant object in front of you or towards the other end of the swimming pool, for example. Your mind directs your body through the steps necessary to reach your visualization, (being the other end of the swimming pool, in this case). Mental and physical synchronization, along with Y’Chi, can help you reach the far end of the pool, with graceful speed and the most-efficient energy expenditure.
Athletes that are aware of this mind-body connection have learned to apply it in many areas of their life. Visualization can be the first step toward obtaining a goal-whether it’s applied in business or in the practice of being a natural swimmer. A predator fish in the ocean uses visual focus to spot and focus on their prey. Their mind instinctively tells their muscles how to obtain or capture it, without a conscious effort. They are true natural swimmers, capable of displaying natural grace, speed and efficiency!
If you think about the many sports where Y’Chi is subconsciously practiced, this visualization technique makes perfect sense. In hockey, the eyes are on the puck for a very short time, before focusing on the goal. In soccer, the eyes are on the ball for a brief moment, before the eyes focus on the goal. In bowling, your eyes may glance at the ball, but they are primarily focused on the pins.
As a natural swimmer, Y’Chi allows your visual focus to pull you towards your goal, with minimal concentration on your movements. Technique and practice are required for proper form, but to increase speed and effectiveness as a natural swimmer, your mind should be pulling you towards the far end of the pool or the finish line. Eventually, it will become an effortless movement- with all of your body’s energy devoted to it.
In the early stages of practicing YChi, you may want to master your swimming technique and form by maximizing the use of drills such as found in Total Immersion. As you begin to use your eyes, in order to provide visual direction to your mind, a transformation begins to take place. It will improve your ability to become a natural swimmer, while allowing your focus to pull you towards your destination.
For some people, it’s easier to practice visualization by experimenting on dry ground. Of course, Y’Chi is used in running or walking, as your body naturally moves towards its destination, assuming you have one. On a curvy trail, you may not move as effectively or hastily, as you would on a straight-forward course.
To demonstrate this point, choose a point about 50 to 100 yards or meters in front of you and focus intensely on it. If you begin walking or running, you will feel your whole body moving towards the goal you have established. Meandering down a curvy trail, without focusing intently on the end result, may seem difficult, in comparison. If your mind is distracted with other things, such as an argument at home or a project at work, even a straight-forward course may seem more difficult to maneuver, with optimal efficiency.
These are examples of how YChi can be used to improve your speed and effectiveness, as you strive to become a natural swimmer. As you practice an intent focus on your destination, by using your eyes, your mind instinctively and effortlessly draws your body towards reaching it. This visualization and mental process concentrates your energy towards the body movements required.
YChi is about combining your knowledge, technique and form- besides using your mind to direct your body towards the goal your eyes are focused on. As a natural swimmer, you can add power, efficiency and speed to swimming faster or further and effortlessly, when incorporating Y’Chi.