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
Relaxation v. De-stressing.
You might think that relaxation is the same thing as de-stressing, but there’s a difference. De-stressing can use a variety of techniques that don’t necessarily involve relaxation of muscles. It’s relative.
How relaxed you are is a relative matter; perhaps there’s an ultimate, but it’s always in comparison to either how you were before, or to how someone else is. How is ‘relax’ defined? The state of body and mind being free from tension and anx
Further to the previous blog…
“Song Yao” = Release the waist (see previous blog on ‘Song’).
“Kai Kua” = Open the Kua, or inguinal region on the front of the pelvis. Open the knees (or Kua).
The under-rotation of the pelvis cannot work very effectively without the Kua opening. This is easy to feel if you try the opposite… Try tucking the tip of your tailbone (coccyx) further under, but simultaneously squeeze your knees together.
Once you’ve felt how awkward that is, you k
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
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
How to step.
It’s a much more conscious process than walking: Feet together Bend knees slightly Bending even more, start to extend a foot Bending even more, place the foot (generally the heel, if moving forwards; the toes, if moving backwards; toes or heel, if stepping sideways). The main point is that you keep dropping in order to step, and what most people do is to drop, then stop dropping, and then stick the foot out (forwards, backwards, sideways). Why keep dropping?
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
Continuing … from the previous blog … What’s the point of 2-person work? We are taught that tai chi should be comfortable and relaxed, but when we do tai chi alone, our preconceptions of what it feels like to be ‘comfortable’ and ‘relaxed’ are largely dependent upon habit… our preconditioning. Comfortable
This is a tricky one. Most people don’t know when they are uncomfortable because their usual state of Being isn’t particularly relaxed. We get used to breathing high up i
From a standing position:
1) Suck in your abdominal muscles, (thereby connecting the upper thigh to the torso).
2) When you can, draw the abdomen in further, allow the legs to bend slightly, but bear in mind that the bending of the legs merely allows you to suck the abdomen in even further, so Notes: Note that, when you suck in your abdominal muscles, the pelvis rotates, causing your backside to tuck under, i.e. the tip of the spine will appear to tuck further between the l
The Balance Problem in Certain Tai Chi & Qigong Moves
I’ve often noticed when teaching the Yang 24 that balance in certain movements often causes a problem for students – incidentally, this isn’t specific to the 24-step form, it’s just that this is a form that I teach more than others.
The moves to which I’m referring are any that require the body to turn to left or right at the same time as transferring the body weight from one foot to another (this could be a forwards or