Connecting movements in tai chi & qigong. Sitting back. Moving your energy. Try jumping!
This is easily tested: Try jumping off the floor, but before doing so, hunch your shoulders firmly up by your ears and leave them there whilst jumping. You can still do the jump, but it’s not nearly so effective. Then try doing the same but relax your shoulders.
We do this every time we walk: When placing a foot ahead of us to walk and moving the weight on to it, the pelvis sinks into
There are many reasons for stress. What stresses one person might to another be a positive drive to action. And after the emergency…
The problems begin when the sympathetic nervous system, having dealt with the emergency, doesn’t settle down again and continues to over-function; this could be because of problems at work, at home, or with life generally. When this happens, the ‘temporary’ boost of glucose and the shutting down of part of your system becomes more th
When seeing Tai Chi or Qigong for the first time, it appears that all those graceful movements are the result of moving our limbs into the ‘correct’ position. So in order to learn those arts, we attempt to emulate the movements as precisely as possible. The art of precision.
I know this because I spent many years being an exponent of this way of learning as precisely as possible: Once upon a time… Approaching the matter.
About 8 years ago, I had a stude
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
It’s a feeling, you can’t actually do it.
In fact it’s the act of not-doing… definitely a verbal contradiction. It’s a feeling, and, like all feelings, is only possible to explain by comparison or with a simile (try explaining what an orange tastes like) whilst hoping that the person, to whom you’re attempting to explain the feeling, has had experiences that are similar to your own. In other words, it’s nigh on impossible. What does it feel like? Sediment; it’s like the sed
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
Each of your arms weighs about 8-10lbs (roughly 3.5-4.5Kg).
That’s heavy… though we don’t really notice it because either the arms are hanging down beside you, or, if we do come to lift them, we use so many extra and unnecessary muscles to do the job (known as ‘recruiting’ in the Alexander Technique) that their weight is spread across the shoulders and neck. Where’s the qi?
The result of this is that the qi is held in the upper body which means that
• our balance compr
When you first begin tai chi and qigong, you spend most of your time trying to remember the positions of arms and legs in the various postures, and then which posture follows the previous one.
Gradually you begin to know a repertoire of postures, one following another; in other words – the tai chi ‘form’, or a qigong ‘set’ of exercises. Then there’s all that talk about ‘flow’… ‘flowing’ from one position to another. How do you do it? How do you smoothly transition between o
You breathe (hopefully). Maybe you breathe efficiently, maybe you don’t, but in order to live you obviously need both an ‘in’ and an ‘out’ breath; you must have both. One breath cannot exist without the other.
You feel the end of an in-breath, and you convert it seamlessly to an out-breath.
But when moving, many people don’t do so in the way that they breathe; they often move as though they’re continuously breathing either out or in.
Breathing is yin and yang. It’s expan
Energy is flow; without flow there is no energy. A shortage of energy is therefore partly about a lack of flow … i.e. partial stagnation. The energy industry How do you reduce your energy levels?
Apart from the obvious, i.e. stop eating and drinking entirely, try using or cultivating any or all of the following: Food, drinks, and any other substances that the body finds either hard to break down, hard to assimilate, or toxic An excess of absolutely anything and ever
In the majority of my classes I teach some qigong as a warm-up.
I do this for a number of reasons:- to introduce the various different types of movement (expanding the palate), to loosen the joints (flexibility), to give people some understanding of their internal organs (if only to locate where they are), and to stretch people both metaphorically and physically in ways that they probably don’t usually stretch. When used as a warm-up, you can’t really go much beyond that. Qi
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
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
Sinking to Move (1) was about sinking the qi from the waist downwards. Sinking to Move (2) is about connecting the upper body to the lower body. Two examples from the Yang 24-Step Form of using the limbs to help sinking 1) Play the Lute. When you move from the 3rd Brush Knee & Twist Step into Play the Lute, the left palm plays an important role in helping the qi to sink in the upper body. When the rear foot (the right foot) is about to come off the floor for the half-step fo
This sinking is like the calm before the storm, the end of the out-breath before the In-breath, the moment before the dawn chorus begins, the moment when a horse is about to tackle a jump. It is a moment of calm, but also of anticipation; of rest, but also of gathering; of release, but also of potential…. like the compression of a dropped ball as it lands before bouncing upwards again, or a sailing boat during the moment of tacking before the wind catches the sail again. The