Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cardinal body part to relax for Tai Chi and your life

I have mentioned the 17 body parts we need to relax in my article “Relax your body, Understand 8 Sections and 9 Joints”. Now I would like to talk about which body part is the most important part that needs to relax. It is not your shoulders or elbows, it is the waist.

In Chinese martial arts, we say,
“Energy comes from your feet, it is controlled by the waist, and moves out to the limbs”,
“The Qi is your wheel; and the waist is your axle.”
“If there is sickness (imperfection in Tai Chi), it can be found on your waist and legs”

Relaxing your waist is the key to improving your Tai Chi. Relaxing the waist can help you sink your Qi to Dan Tian (Red Field acupuncture point). Relaxing your waist makes your movements fluid and steady. By relaxing the waist you can more easily define solid and empty, the Ying and Yang. A relaxed waist truly connects your upper and lower body.

Since relaxing the waist is so important, how do we do it? There are many different ways to relax your waist. One of the most common ways is to stand like a post (Zhan Zhuang, 站桩). It will not only help you relax your waist, but it will also strengthen your legs as well as your internal energy.

I have taught many post stances in my class. The easiest one to do is the Preparing Stance. In Tai Chi, we call it Wu Chi post. It takes 30 minutes for the blood to circulate through the body, and that is why you can stand in this posture for 30 minutes every day or until your legs feel warm. You will feel some difference after 100 days if you have the right stance. That’s why we say in Chinese “100 days to build your foundation”.

Copyright by Huan's Tai Chi

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