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How do I IMPROVE my Taiji (Tai Chi) practice?

How do I IMPROVE my Taiji (Tai Chi) practice?

If you practice Zhan Zhuang every day, you should see an improvement in your Tai Chi practice.

The Zhan Zhuang posture I am referring to is the Hun Yuan posture.

Which means smooth roundedness-exactly what you want with Tai Chi to have that state of peng.

 

The posture is also known as Chen Bao or hugging the tree. 

See the image below:

                                     

With this posture having both hands out like if you are hugging a tree. You can imagine you have two “ward offs” (as per yang style Taiji). Or you are holding two “pengs.”

The adherence to the principle of relaxing your chest and slightly raising the back, is what gives the peng structure, which you maintain when doing the Taiji form.

So, the better you refine your practice the easier you stick to the principles when doing the form.

It helps, with understanding “sung”-the opening and relaxing of the joints, ligaments, tendons, sinews, and fascia.

When you feel tightness, say in the shoulders even after you have made sure your elbows are pointing downwards. Use your intent and imagine that the tightness slowly fades away, during the inhaling and exhaling in dantien.

With Zhan Zhuang you are seeking motion in stillness-you will feel the inside of the body expand and move. The stillness will be in you focusing on the dantien.

Now with the form, by you moving you seeking stillness in motion. If you keep your mind concentrated in dan tien during Zhan Zhuang, you can then do the same during the form.

You can apply the sinking-letting go of the extra tension in the body, so the energy can flow.

The more I practice Zhan Zhuang the more I see where I need to improve. And from a martial aspect, using softness to conquer hardness, starts to make more sense.

 Taiji Quan Martial Art principles become more of a reality than simply theory or words translated from the classics.

And to add Zhan Zhuang can be beneficial regardless of martial art style. And sheds light on internal principles of martial art.

Written by Narcisse Sadi, Tudi (student) of Dr Jeff Lan, certified (by the International Health Qigong Federation) 1stDuan Health Qi Gong and certified (by Dr Jeff Lan) 1st Duan Yang Style (Cheng Man Ching lineage) Tai Chi Chuan Instructor.

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