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Characteristics of Tai Chi
origins, meanings, lineage, analyses and exploration

Saddle Stance

 

As we breath in we should imagine or visualise the whole body 'expanding'
front and back
expansion The (small) exertion of this exercise is on the out breath. This indicates that it's purpose is for developing "External Chi". This type of exercise is called Ye Jin Jin; Exercises and procedures that utilise Chi in breath develop "internal Chi" and are usually of the Chi Kung type. That type of excretes invariably involves some turning of the Torso thus benefiting the body with internal massaging of the organs within. With Yi Jin Jin the body frequently remains stationary and the more external muscles and tendons are stimulated. "Jin" may be translated as "Spirit".Chi cannot be 'forced', it can only be 'led'. It is so 'led' by the Mind. The Tai Chi Mind should be governed by the principle of nonaggression and non-attainment . Hence, the purpose of this excretes is to aid the connection of Mind Body and Spirit".

Paying most attention to the muscles and tendons of the inside and outside of upper and lower legs
front

Push sideways
with one leg

feet at shoulder width
(often wider than illustration)
Push sideways
with the other leg

Note also Hands/Arms which should 'hang' and thus remain perpendicular. If the arms are fully relaxed the hand that touches the thigh when the body is moved should not be 'stiff'. On the contrary, it should in effect gently and naturally 'collapses' against the thigh it comes against.

Meticulous attention is given to detail. Do not confuse this with any desire of attainment to symmetry. Unlike the figures as illustrated, few human beings are such aesthetic Adonis! If 'Yaman' (my 'pet name' for it/him) in these pictures did actual want to do Tai Chi, the first thing that would have to go would be be that taught and flattened stomach!

With Arms 'extended' in the wide stance the Hips, Waist and Belly remains 'still and Legs 'Push' downwards. The Chest and Arms 'expand' (not stretch) outward and the Head is 'lifted' upwards. As we breath in we should imagine or visualise the whole body enlarging or 'expanding' . The Chi is 'led with the mind' - to the extremities. No part of the body should be 'taught'; yet - on the in breath - extended. On the same breath the toes grip the ground (like kittens on a carpet). On that in breath the tongue presses upwards against the palate, the pelvic muscles 'pull in' and the fingers are extended - not stretched . arms
hands Mind, Body, Spirit" is also expressed as "Connecting Heaven and Earth". It is said (in a number of significant philosophies) that for a human-being to achieve this they should become empty, like a flute on which a melody is played for you alone; by the spirits or gods. The only goal is 'No Thing" or 'No Mind'. The "meticulous attention to detail" is a valuable aid in this training towards No Mind because while you are paying so much attention to your thumb against your thigh - you are not thinking about much else! A long way from "No Mind", but on the way.

 

 
Mind, Body, Spirit" is also expressed as "Connecting Heaven and Earth". It is said (in a number of significant philosophies) that for a human-being to achieve this they should become empty, like a flute on which a melody is played for you alone; by the spirits or gods. The only goal is 'No Thing" or 'No Mind'.
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