Internal and External Three Closing 內外三合 – Part 4
The next External Closing is the Zhǒu Yǔ Xī Hé 肘與膝合 – Elbows and Knees. If our hands and legs are closing, then our elbows and knees are closing too. When we bend the knees the elbows will be bent. If you think about bending the knees but keeping the arms completely straight, you will find that this is a very difficult position to hold. So when we bend the legs we will also bend the arms and so the elbows and knees are closing together.
The next one is Jiān Yǔ Kuà Hé 肩與胯合 – Shoulders and Hips Closing. If we consider our body and do not include our arms and legs, then the upper part is the shoulders and the lower part is the hips. The upper part should match the lower part and so our shoulders and hips must match in our movement and our posture. If we can do this, then it will help to make us healthy. When practising Tàijíquán 太極拳, many people often only think about hands and legs and forget about the shoulders and hips. In every movement, we must keep the Dāntián 丹田 as the centre. So the hips match the Dāntián and if the Dāntián is in the correct position, then the shoulders and head will be in the right position too.