Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: The Paradox of Tai Chi Rooting and Movement

People who study tai chi are familiar with the term rooting, or to be in solid contact with the ground.
During a tai chi demonstration, viewers notice right away the fluid ease of movement.

However, this presents a paradox: how can we stay rooted and still remain fluid in our movement?

The answer is this: with each step, along with proper breathing and relaxation, we need to focus our body weight onto the soles of our feet. This gives us rooted, constant, solid contact with the ground — and yet we remain relaxed, and therefore can move with unencumbered freedom to maintain our fluidity.

One concept I try to instill in my students is to stay focused.  When practicing chi, if you hesitate anywhere within the form, stop right away. Take as many breaths as needed in order to recompose, then get back in contact with your chi. After a few meditative breaths, you then can continue your practice.

One uncorrected mistake can lead to many more mistakes, lack of relaxation and poor rooting.  Catch yourself when you lose your chi, and get yourself back on track.

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