21ST CENTURY TAI CHI
Ideas to bridge the space between thought and action
Want to learn the secret of Tai Chi? Well, it's all in the waist and I'm going to teach you 2 exercises that will not only bring back a flow to your form, but by extending the practice elsewhere, will unite everything you do .
Want more exercises to help with your Tai Chi? Check out this post on Energy Work Video Exercises too.
"Hey mOnk! What style do you practice?"
Over the last 30 years I have had more people ask me this than I have had hot dinners. My answer is never to name a style or a school or a lineage, for that would be playing into the game of comparisons and judgements. That is not the Way.
Instead, my answer is to talk about the waist in Tai Chi, for although the classic texts talk about the importance of the waist, rarely do you see it demonstrated.
THE WAIST AND THE DIFFERENT STYLES OF TAI CHI
I began my Tai Chi journey back in the early 80s and with a flowery style (that shall not be named) overflowing with gentle wrist moves and arm swinging, finger-circling and Buddha smiles, but all unrelated to the waist. I loved it, until I began to wonder where the strength for the moves came from.
From there I flirted with other styles, more powerful and demonstrably energy packed. Feet were stomped, fists pounded and even little energetic shouts accompanied the explosive moves. But I'd only just left a decade of karate classes and had had enough of all of that. I was looking for another expression and another source of energy.
It was then that I discovered the basis of what would be my practice for the rest of my life: the power of the waist. I learned 3 simple exercises that I could then relate to all the moves, the footwork, the arms and all the Tai Chi postures. I suddenly realised how to move as a connected human being.
Try them yourself. Note that when you turn, your upper body is soft, and flexible and your lower half heavy and grounded. Note where the sense of connection comes from and look for that sense of momentum and swing that I talked about in this post
And note that the waist leads, the body follows and the rest all alls into place. Remember, Tai Chi is not just about technique, it is also about principles that can also be applied to almost any other physical practices, from tying your ponytail into place, to cooking a dhal or even to walking (or gliding) down the road.
So here they are, (well here are 2/3, but you'll find the other on my web site tucked away somewhere) Exercises that once learned, you will be able to apply to life itself. These exercises feature as just one small part of one exercise video of over 100 in the Complete Tai Chi Course. You can learn more exercises here and here, download the Beginners Guide PDF for even more exercises or just jump right in and start your training at home today. Enjoy and don't forget - apply the principles beyond the exercise. (That, if anyone asks, is the real secret to tai Chi)
Learn other great Tai Chi Exercises in this video series
Or jump straight in and start learning at home today in the best course online in the known Solar System: The Complete Tai Chi Course - guaranteed to not only teach you Tai Chi, but all the related areas of study too. And Check out all the ebooks you get too (see below)
How is it that Tai Chi practitioners seem to glide, effortlessly as though their joints have been injected with Virgin Olive Oil? Why does a good practitioner, irrespective of style or suit, lineage or look, move like a smooth operator?
But how is it obtained? Where does it reside? What are the ways to build this art of movement into your style? The concept of swing and return is spoken of in some styles, in others as as spirals and circles. But it all amounts to 3 things:
Forget about everything else...
Forget everything else.
Forget notions of internal fire energy and explosive jin.
Forget diagrams with arrows and geometrical positions.
Forget anyone that says its all about tapping into Ley-lines or Qi rivers.
More on Momentum and Swing in Tai Chi
These 3 short videos are excerpts are taken from longer videos on this theme, each exploring in greater depth the idea of Swing and Momentum. They are taken from the Complete Tai Chi Course - 12 months of exercises, Tai Chi breathing, Form practice, applications, poetry, music, art, and documentaries. Find out how more here.
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