Opening and Closing, Firm and Light. Breathe Naturally開合虚實,呼吸自然

RTEmagicC_Chen_Res2016-282Last time we talked about Chen Xin’s 陳鑫book. In it he also says, “Opening and closing, Firm and Light. Breathe Naturally.” This is a principle of Taijiquan. In the Taiji forms there always are opening and closing movements. Sometimes there are two opening movements or two closing movements, but after opening there must be closing, and after closing there must be opening. This is how nature flows. For example, there is summer, where it is hot and this is followed by winter, which is cold. It is a constantly repeating cycle.

In our Taiji stances, one leg is firmer and the other is lighter, and then we keep changing positions and shifting our weight. It is very rare for us to have equal weight on both our legs, only at the beginning and at the end. Changing our weight creates a lot of circulation and makes us aware of our balance. It is also good for our joints as we keep moving and turning them, and it also allows us to move our body following the Taiji principles.

This is the external movement that we see. Internally the body needs to be relaxed and this affects our breathing. So we must follow nature and let the body breathe naturally. If we can do this, then every movement we make will come from the inside and the internal and external body will work together. This is balance.

Michael Tse

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