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Tai Chi Correct and Active Postures

“Correctness” means that postures should be “even-handed.”  One should seek for the equilibrium in the Tai Chi Symbol where the Qi of Yang rises and that of Yin ebbs, resulting in the S-shaped dividing line as well as the “dynamic equilibrium.” The ancient Tai Chi tabke required that “the force comes upward and the Qi falls to the inner heart, which is just the indication of ‘even-handedness.”  When doing Tai Chi, this means one’s body should remain upright and the head should be as erect as the body.  This is what the chart of Tai Chi table called “the trunk being erect and spirits permeating the top.”

By “activeness”, we mean that every posture should be carried out to the full extent.  In Tai Chi from “Tai Chi Symbol of the Book of Changes,” Tai Chi is where various objects are derived, and it is still extending outward on its own instinct.  The two elements of Yin and Yang are closely connected and should never be separated.  Thus the two forces of extension and convergence are coexisting. 

The circle becomes substantial with the two elements of Yin and Yang, and the shape of the circle becomes round due to the extending power of the two elements.  Thus when learning Tai Chi, one’s limbs should be extended to the required range as well as be tight to the required degree. One’s movements should combine flexibility with straightness, exhibiting the circular arc kind of “neutrality.”

As to the movements, the Charter of Tai Chi technique requires not only to make “the trunk being erect and spirits permeating the top,” but also to make the limbs sink loosely up to the feet.  Thus, from the vertical point of view, the top of the head should be propped up, and the ten toes firmly planted on the earth.  The body between the head and feet forms an apparently loose but connected string.  Therefore, though being “hauled” from the two ways, the body will not become stiff.  Besides, from the horizontal point of view, Tai Chi requires the four limbs to “combine flexibility with straightness,” and “seek flexibility from straightness.”  It’s in this way that the four limbs can be convergent while extending outward.  Thus the vertical and horizontal movements and postures of Tai Chi are round in itself and pleasant to the eye.

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