From gross to subtle and big to small, transitions link form and content into cotinuous, fluid motion. Most practitioners focus on the broad strokes of the forms they practice and pay little attention to the seemingly less significant transitions that link them together. However, transitions are precisely what carries forward any momentum and qi development, making possible more profound levels of practice and supercharging power and health benefits.
On the other hand, when not executed properly, transitions can sever the momentum you build and thereby diminish and limit training results. Therefore, the wise and dedicated student hones in on the all-important linking components as a means of generating efficiency from move to move and advancing their practice.
Paul Cavel + Pete Jenkins Practising Bagua Dragon Arm Exercises
Balancing the body is a continuous process as that which is more or less closed now may become more or less open later. This is especially true when you actively engage in the process of unbinding your body. As you focus on any bound place or part of your body and become successful in opening it up, you’ll notice how it becomes looser and relatively more flexible than other body parts.
In qi gong, tai chi and bagua there are many postures where one hand/arm is on top of or in front of the other; for example, Cross Hands in tai chi, several moves in Gods Playing in the Clouds Qi Gong and the Bagua Single Palm Change. These postures are good for establishing balance in your body.
If you’ve been training the spherical material from Lesson 1, then you’re probably beginning to develop some idea about how to open your body in a spherical way. Fully embodying spherical principles in your forms takes years of dedicated practice, so don’t be in a rush.
The trick is to balance the energies that either open or close in the six directions (up, down, forward, back, left and right)—not the physical range of motion. When the energies are balanced you open up the space in the central equilibrium.