Thursday, October 23, 2014

Get Hip to Your Hip Alignment

While standing in a bow stance with 70% of your weight in your front (left) leg, your left hip should be released back.  The knee, of course, goes forward and should track over the middle of your foot but the hip is released back.  The hips are positioned under the shoulders and that alignment stays the same while your weights shifts forward and back in a bow stance.  Some students, while shifting their weight forward, turn their hips and shove the left hip forward.  This turning of the hips could strain the lower back and cause hip pain. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Your "Demeanor" During T'ai Chi Practice

   Looking at some older pictures of myself during practice, I look very serious.  Almost stern.  I am serious during practice but I'm also happy.  It's good to have a "lightness of being", not just in your physical body but also in your mental aspect.  You know how you feel when you are looking at something beautiful?  That feeling comes through in your facial expression.  A little smile and a softness comes across your face.  
   Yesterday, I reminded students to consider their facial expression during practice.  Have the sensation that you are looking at something beautiful, because you are.  You are looking at the beauty that is you, performing this beautiful practice, focused in the present moment.  Typically, when I remind students to perform the t'ai chi movements in an effortless and tension-free way, I'm referring to the physical body.  It's good to remember to also be tension-free in our thoughts.  Let go of judgmental and negative thoughts about yourself and others.  Looking at those earlier pictures of myself was a reminder to be tension-free in my whole being.