HOW TO PRACTICE ?
Here are some ideas to keep in mind while practicing t'aï-chi-chuan.
These are, in my opinion, important points.
First, let's talk about Yin-Yang, one of the bases of Taoïsm, that you should also hear of when practising Yi-King . Yin-Yang is not only the opposite sides, like the slow and the fast, the close and the far, the Earth and the Sky. There is also the fact that the maximum include the birth of its opposite. That's why, when we finish pushing, we push far more, not before to go back, but really to go back. You think it's two, but it's four (see the picture ).
Always in your practice, keep in mind Yin-Yang .
Keep in mind , also, that one of your aims is to go beyond this separation between Yin and Yang, beyond duality.
Then there is also the trinity; Earth, Man, Sky. Man between Sky and Earth, it's an axis from wich everything turns. It's also a media. An axis have to be right, that's why we push the top of the skull vers the Sky and lach le bassin dans le sol. It's opening to the Sky by the attention to the top of the skull, and to enraciner by releasing the basin.
To be right in the movement, these is an arm which moves away while the other come closer, the pressure made by the inflection of an elbow makes the other opening, and also the leg. You should not seek to go down on the postures, just try to have your legs and arms with the same circles. Time after time you get lower, just by releasing your legs.
There is also the opening of the elbows, this means the hollow under your shoulders. Elbows are towards the ground, but you keep some space under your shoulders. You have to push in your elbows as in your hands, while your arms are still round. There is 2 circles in your arms, an horizontal one, with your hand in front of you, and a vertical one. The "opening of the elbows", which is not in the sense of the flexion-extension, is also related to the knees. For example, when you open your elbows, your knees open too, rotating to the outside. When your elbows come closer to your body, your knees come inside too. But your knees have to be always just over your toes, so you can relax your leg completly. According to your knees, put your elbows in the right place. If you relax your body and then try to move slowly a part of your body, feel the other parts tending to move too, accordingly to the harmony of your beeing.
Your skin is like a closed bag. The tension of the skin balances the internal pressure (bodies, muscles, flesh). Take a tight bag, fill it with water, it holds upright all alone if it is not too leaning, although it has not any muscles. A relaxed muscle use more space than a tended one and create pressure around it, and a continuity. This pressure, time after time, equilibrates the tension of your skin and your weight. Then you can stand up without any effort, arms and legs rounded in accordance and relaxed.
At the end, there is also a lot of work with your wrists. You should breath in
inflating on inspir, breaking them on expir. Leave your lengthened fingers.
A hand pushes towards the other, a wrist is emptied in a wrist which inflates.
The node of cranium to the top.
The shoulders weigh on the hips. (it is not immediate.)
The elbows down, with an opening in the shoulders.
Release the chest and the stomach.
Yin-Yang : there is always the slow and the fast, the far and the close, the coming up and going down.
Seek symmetries in your body.
Keep relaxed, attentive inside and outside.
Open hands, let run without retaining anything. When you catch an arm, it is simply the pressure opposing your two hands that holds the arm, without clutching, for if you clutch then you are clutched too and you lose.
Think about MOVEMENT, not about position. If you're wrong at one point, redo the movement, don't simply correct your posture. T'aï-chi-chuan is movement, not simply a set of postures. One of the aims is to rediscover The Movement. Remember that Life is Moving .
I've recently read the beginning of Tao-Te-King, one of the main books of
Taoïsm, and i've found a very surprising link to another religion.
Guess wich, and follow