Even though tai chi is the youngest of the internal martial arts, it has a quality that is absolutely unique unto itself. The intrinsic yin nature of tai chi allows deep healing to occur while the practitioner executes the form in the most gentle of ways. It is this hyper focus on the soft quality that often leads tai chi practitioners astray.
Tai chi is a yin art, which is why it often gets disregarded as useless or only being good for the elderly and young girls. But in fact, the soft nature of tai chi is exactly why it is so effective as a means for developing qi power—whether for health, healing, meditation or martial prowess.
First and foremost, exercise done in a soft way can prevent you from embedding existing, superficial tension deeper within the body. Tai chi is a superior exercise system for releasing the nerves, which in turn releases all soft tissues. This process allows the body to unfurl effortlessly and further paves the way for amplified blood and chi circulation through unbroken motion. Practise daily and you have a concrete means for manifesting real health benefits, but tai chi’s magic doesn’t stop there!
All internal enery arts exercise ultimately intends to stimulate qi flow in your body. In fact, one reason external, postural alignments are a main focus in the beginning is to help optimise fluid (such as blood) and qi flow. So now that you have the basics of balancing your outer casing in your form, we’ll look at two primary flows in the body: ascending and descending qi.
So far we’ve been practising exercises for balancing the left and right sides of the body with a focus on the legs, the arms and the turning of the body. Now we’ll look at balancing the upper and lower body in qi gong, tai chi and bagua.
Now that you’ve reviewed the basics of balancing the legs, let’s look at how to balance the legs while in a forward-weighted stance. Many practitioners find that when assuming tai chi or other postures where the front leg carries the bodyweight, the legs, especially the knees, become compressed.
You definitely don’t want to programme this position into your body memory because, over time, you will cause more harm than good. And you definitely want to avoid knee injuries at all costs!