Acupuncture and Related Therapies
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF TAI CHI
(1) HARMONY – Move your feet, knees, legs, waist, hand, and head in a
harmonious sequence. They are like the pearls in a string: well balanced,
changing from yin to yang, insubstantial to substantial, space to form,
full to empty, flowing like a river.
(2) CIRCULAR MOVEMENT – Move in circles and curves: all sizes, in
many directions – horizontal, vertical, or slanted; opposite or concurrent-
the circle of containment & detachment; the movement being long and
supple, in a rhythmic pattern.
(3) CIRCULATION OF CHI – Breathe the essence of life, the vital energy, chi.
Breathing starts with the mind, and engenders the movement. Make the
chi go into the tips of your fingers & toes; and circulate from the top of
your head to the bottoms of your feet. Breathe evenly and deeply. Store
and nurture the chi.
(4) EFFORTLESS EFFORT – Move as slowly as possible, as lightly as possible, as if
drawing on silk. Be tranquil like a mountain. Be alert like a cat watching
a mouse. Be natural like a hawk catching a rabbit. Most of all, be aware of
the flow within and without.
(5) LOOSENESS – Loosen your shoulders and drop your elbows so your chi
sinks into your lower belly (Dantian). Contain your chest, flex your back,
relax your loins, and stay rooted on your feet – like a tree rooted to the earth.
The breath is the wheel, the waist is the axletree.
from “Tai Chi – A Way of Centering and I Ching” by Gia-Fu Feng & Jerome Kirk