Over the last year, following a bereavement in Autumn 2020, I learnt what you might call a technique that I thought was very relevant to both tai chi and qigong. Not being in a very good place at that time, a friend, who was a counsellor, offered to give me a session to try to help me. I readily accepted, and what he suggested to me tied in so closely with what I do in Tai Chi and Qigong that I thought it was worth passing it on in case it was able to help anyone else. As he
Revolving doors work because they have perfect central equilibrium, and therefore use minimum energy. In movement, we are aiming, as far as possible, to emulate that feeling, noticing that when one side of us turns one way, the other side turns the other way, and that each side of us is perfectly balanced. In other words, we are trying to feel the whole of our personal universe revolving in space whilst being subject to gravity. “For every action there is …” Getting it.
Walking & ‘Open/Close’.
If you picture your body as a mobile vertical line, what allows you to be mobile is your ability to split that line at the base – in other words, you have legs.
You can move a leg forwards or backwards thereby temporarily fraying the vertical line from the pelvis downwards. The arms when walking & ‘Open/Close’.
The arms do the same thing; they swing forwards and backwards as you walk. Usually this is unconscious although it obviously doesn’t have t
If you constantly try to sink your boat, your posture will improve, and if you have back problems, sinking your hull will almost definitely help relieve those problems. Why?
Because, when you sink your boat, your pelvis releases and softens,
⇒ which means that the angle of your pelvis alters,
⇒ which means that the alignment of your spine alters,
⇒ which means that your lumbar spine changes position and your vertebrae cease compressing and open slightly, and
Practising the art of sinking is essential; it’s not going to happen on its own. When?
The good thing is that you can practise it all the time, whilst doing anything – lying down, standing, walking, cooking, sitting, gardening… etc. Walking.
Walking is a very good way to practise it, the knack is not to try it every step you take. At first try doing it with only one foot, or for example, every 4th step. Practising boat scuttling.
Step forward, and as you put
Above the hull is the equipment that makes the sailing boat functional – mast & boom, shrouds & sails, sheets & cleats, and a burgee if you have one.
This is your upper torso. The rigging
The mast (spine) supports most of these bits of above-deck equipment – the shrouds (arms), the burgee (tiny head!), the sails, (torso – chest/back/rib cage); and the spreader (in the diagram) is a little like your shoulders running from port to starboard. The boat in the picture even has
Behaving like a boat.
Your body has a keel and a mast. The question is, how do you experience it? The hull & keel. CONTACTS:
Phone: 07836-710281 or 020-8883 3308
_______________________________________________________________________________________________ #qigong #grounding #tension #jamesdrewe #taiji #gravity #balance #taijiquan #pelvis #posture #taichi #relaxation #relax #sinking
From head to foot.
When practicing taiji and qigong, we are often conscious of the forwards/backwards and the left/right of the movements, but it’s easy to forget the crown to feet expansion/contraction.
When doing Tai Chi & Qigong, it’s important to keep that structural line intact. Intact?
By this I mean that any forces that the spine is dealing with are evenly spread over its length; i.e. no part of the spine is taking more force than any other part. (I do not mean tha
“An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. According to The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi, balance problems rely on four body systems working together: 1) musculoskeletal (muscle strength, flexibility), 2) sensory (eyes, pressure sensors in the skin, muscles, and joints, and the vestibular system in the inner ear), 3) neuromuscular (muscle groups functioning cohesively), and 4) cognitive (fear of e.g. falli
There are many positions In which to do Standing Qigong, but I’ll use the one with feet a shoulder’s width apart, knees bent, and hands lifted to opposite the upper chest, as in the picture. What does ‘balance’ mean in this context?
In this context, balance means the sense of the left and right sides, the front and the back, and the top and bottom sides of your body all working equally together, so that no area is more dominant than any other area. It is the
Your neck controls your future comfort.
It’s never too late to do something about your posture, although it’s probably true to say that the earlier you start, the more comfortable your later years will be. The ‘Seesaw Law’.
In some respects, your spine works like a seesaw; if you do something to one end, there will be a reaction not only at the other end, but across the entire length of the seesaw. In other words, if you position your neck incorrectly on your body, you are
How is it at the moment? Where does your neck begin and end?
Anatomically your neck is 7 vertebrae long, starting at the skull (under and up inside), and finishing at the slightly more protrusive vertebra C7 (the 7th cervical vertebra) which is at the base of the neck, above shoulder line height. To be honest, I’m not actually very interested in its anatomical length, I’m much more interested in its functional length.
Functionally it finishes around about T3 (i.e. the 3rd t
But of course this could be almost any action in which you have to lift your body – it could even be walking up one small So what’s going on?
The Chinese wrould say that you are sinking your qi during that moment, and for some people, it’s not a very pleasant sensation. I’ve noticed that, by and large, people don’t like the feeling of their legs working correctly. One of the reasons tai chi teachers spend so much time correcting people’s postures is that, when we need to do
To move effortlessly, you have to observe not only how you shift your weight from one foot to the other, but also how you use your muscles. Are you relaxing all those muscles that are unnecessary for the job, or are you holding on to some because, either you simply haven’t noticed that they’re tight, or they’ve been tight for so long that you just don’t feel them anymore?
Is your body well aligned? Are you bending to step? Are you looking at the floor? Have you lifted you
When it feels right. How do you encourage it?
To feel balanced, the body constantly needs to behave like a balloon. When you manage to accommodate all the criteria – front back, left right, up down – correctly, you know you have got it right without being told … it just feels right … the melon can’t fall over! But if it’s loaded on one side…. So what’s the title all about?
Simply that, when blowing up a balloon, the rubber expands equally across its If your body were a cas
Continuing … the next point from Blog 1 … What’s the point of 2-person work? To understand our own stability is obvious when we’re standing on one leg, it’s simply a case of ‘balance’; but it’s less easy to understand when we’re on two legs, with someone pushing us. Working with a partner gives you the opportunity to understand and learn how to sink your qi. Change & Testing
This is about stability, muscular interconnection (Peng), and sinking qi,
Generally people find it h
Two-person exercises cause a problem for many tai chi practitioners.
Some don’t like touching other people, some get frustrated because the other person isn’t getting it ‘right’, some don’t like the feeling of their personal space being invaded, and others find that their partner is either too stiff or too loose.
One thing is certain, 2-person exercises test one’s vulnerability, and understandably, most people don’t like to feel vulnerable. What’s the point of 2-person work
Balancing the body
When performing tai chi and qigong, you need to organise your body so that it feels as though all aspects of the body (i.e. left/right, front/back, and up/down) are supported; in other words the left is supported by the right, the front by the back, the up by the down, etc..
Because of this, the body therefore has 100% awareness of all angles, and all directions, all the time. This is the same idea as an architect designing a building that will withstand