Although taijiquan can be complicated to learn and requires patience, discipline and time, benefits can be gained by practicing individual movements on their own. Here is the beginning movement, which represents the rising of the sun. It is a good way of coming back to center at this time of year. As you practice, visualize your entire body being nourished with qi from the earth, rising through yongquan, the first point on the kidney meridian located on the soles of the feet. Breathe slowly throughout the movement, in and out through the nose, with the tip of the tongue placed gently behind the top teeth.
Stand with feet together. Imagine your head is suspended by a thread, your back is straight with the base of the spine tucked in. Shoulders are relaxed and arms and hands hang loosely by your sides. On an inhale, shift the weight over to the right foot. On the exhale, place the left foot slowly down from toes to heel, gradually shifting 50% weight onto it. Position it so that both feet are now almost parallel and shoulder or hip width apart. At the same time begin to raise the arms from the sides upwards in front of the body to about chest level, so that your forearms are parallel with the ground and your shoulders remain still. Let this movement be completely relaxed, so that the arms, hands and fingers gently float upwards as if by themselves, feeling the air beneath them. On the next exhale bring the hands down slowly and gently as if pushing down a large, light ball of qi. You can bring the arms and hands back to your sides as in the opening position, or you may choose to bring them only to hip height in front of you and, from either position, repeat the movement upwards on the next inhale. Continue in this way, inhaling up, exhaling down for as long as time allows. If you wish, you may bend the knees slightly on each downward movement, allowing your weight to sink. Make sure, however, that the knees are never locked at any time throughout the movement. Your weight remains evenly distributed on both feet until you decide to stop. Eyes remain open with a soft gaze, or may close for deeper relaxation.
Leave a reply →