Thursday, September 26, 2013
From the Section - 'Two Tai Chi Cultivation Postures'
"In traditional Tai Chi training, a number of postures besides the Wuji posture of Commencement were used for standing cultivation practice. These include the familiar ‘Bird’s Tail’ movements Peng, Lu, Ji and An plus Dan Pien - Single Whip.
Since many readers will be familiar with Tai Chi’s most basic postures, I have decided to present two additional Tai Chi cultivation postures they might not know about. These two postures can be used to cultivate all the basic energies of Tai Chi.
The first posture is done in the standard forward Bow Stance. It requires quite a lot of flexibility to execute fully and so is often begun with a far less pronounced stretch of the back arm. The amazing thing about this posture is that as the body hollows and opens up, it does so in a manner that naturally generates spiral energy. The potential for spiral energy actually comes from the unwinding of the tautly stretched tissue, especially in the hips and Kua."
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Thursday, September 19, 2013
From The Section - 'Unifying The Body'
'The Importance Of Hardwiring'
"Hardwiring is the mechanism that enables the linkage of the many parts of the body to a central location, in this case, the low Dan Tien. Later, in advanced practices, this central focus can be in other areas like the middle and upper Dan Tien or even multiple regions. But for health and indeed martial power, for now we’ll focus exclusively on the low Dan Tien or navel area. This method is most suitable to Zhan Zhuang as well as the other internal arts.
Judicious use of hardwiring allows us to actualize the embedded layers of coordination available in each posture or movement. On a physical level, what we do is focus on one particular part of the body at a time in relationship to a central point, in order to create what some have called a dimmer switch."
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Thursday, September 12, 2013
From the Section - 'Control vs. Letting Go'
"Zhan Zhuang has two essential aspects to it. The first of these, maintaining control, stems from the Taoist Fire path. The other is letting go and trusting. This finds its origin in the Taoist Water method.
To understand the fire path, we look at the behavior of fire itself. Fire basically burns things up. And the hotter the fire gets, the more fuel it requires. Fire can also be erratic, witness a forest fire which starts in one location and then suddenly jumps to another. Or a fire can begin at one point, then fan out, igniting everything around it.
Water on the other hand, reacts somewhat more consistently. It can drip steadily so as to one day wear a hole through a rock. Or when more abundant, it can flow steadily like a river, or race and tumble like a set of rapids. Water can also be like the sea and ebb and flow or well up into an enormous wave."
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Thursday, September 5, 2013
New Excerpt From Inside Zhan Zhuang
From the Section - 'Initial Adjustments'
The Kua and Hanging Basket Effect
"When one has put in enough time and sufficiently opened the body, it becomes possible to create a feeling of pelvic suspension or the ‘Hanging Basket Effect.’ The basket is the Kua and what it hangs from is the Psoas and surrounding muscles.When done correctly one feels almost a floating effect in the Kua and a sensation of great ease while at the same time there is a solid energetic connection and root. The effect itself is primarily based on the ability to elongate the Psoas muscles and relax them towards the back, along with the Quadratus Lumborum, the muscles of the buttocks and the sacral region."