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Tai Chi Styles
introductions to other styles and aspects beyond the Yang From

'Embracing the Tree'


fig 1. Preparation A
preparation A

fig 2. Preparation B
preparation B

fig 3. Preparation C
preparation C

fig 4. Embracing the Tree

embracing the tree
I was once in conversation with a retired Japanese Physiotherapist/Chiropractor.
She remarked that she herself did and recommended 'Embracing the Tree'.
She adopted the posture and said:
"Spirit of Tree"
I asked her what she then visualized.
She replied "Spirit of Tree".
I foolishly pressed the issue and further asked "do you visualize the 'spirit' of the tree".
She replied "Tree IS Spirit!"

If I were to ask her: does she imagine the nature of a tree? I suppose she would reply
"Tree IS Nature".

Preparation is necessary to establish ones balance and bearing prior to movement.
Preperation is the part of the iceberg that is beneath the surface. It is not apparent; but it is essential.

Establish yourself a 'routine' of sinking, rooting and connecting downwards, upwards, front and rear; outwards.

fig 1. The normal position for preparation of any tai chi form and is the nearest tai chi gets to any identifying 'salute'.

What is the difference between Chi Kung/Internal and Yi Jin Jin/External?
fig 1: Tai Chi
fig 2 : Yi Jin Jin

When 'in' preparation the internal organs are allowed to 'sink' and the chest is filled on the in breath.
On the out breath that follows the internal organs, which have already sunk and can sink no further; respond by 'relaxing' - upward out outward. The lungs empty and themselves, relax and sink. You may 'visualize' this whole process as an internal circle.

These words have already confused the issue and anyway it's much easier done than said; and if you just relax it is what happens anyway! Just make sure that you prepare appropriately.

In fig 2. there are red arrows indicating some outward energy, but there is no indication on which breath (in or out) that this effort is concentrated. The arrows indicate your intention. If it is on the in breath that your chi 'expands' internally; then it is Chi Kung that you're doing!
If it on the out breath that you concentrate your chi from your 'center' to your fingertips and all connections to the external; then it is Yi Jin Jin that you're doing!

You (any human being) can do both, and in everyday applications we all usually do it right anyway. Most of us breath out as we push a broken down car and most of us breath in before we stand up.

The practice of Chi Kung and Yi Jin Jin is to concentrate internal and external chi respectively. Tai Chi combines the two fluidly, and often more fundamentally than might at first be noticed and simply one (internal) and then the other (external).

Adopt the posture fig 3 to aid the visualization of external chi. On the out breath 'send' your chi to your fingertips;and imagine the golden thread connecting upwards.
On that out breath imagine your feet sinking and you toes rooting. Imagine the bubbling spring and imagine it bubbling between your toes. Very external! On the in breath, relax. On the out -don't strain yourself - the image is 'expand'.

Embracing the Tree may be utilized with either Chi Kung or Yi Jin Jin.

Take a break in the form of Moccasu.

Relax, clear your mind and the resume - this time Moccasu, Attention, Preparation A B & C and then ...

Embracing the Tree 1

Breathing out
The outside of the forearms 'pushing' outward.
'Extending' from the center outward, upward and downward:
Yi Jin Jin
embracing the tree
Embracing the Tree 2

Breathing out
Same posture but -on the breath in 'gather in' with inside arms as the whole body gently 'rises'. 'Sink' on the out breath and ... relax, relax, relax:
Chi Kung

Variations of this posture in movement (Tai Chi) may utilities at least 360 degrees of angle inclination and move in at least eight directions. Study the principles above in relation to: Grasp the Sparrows Tail, Roll Back, Withdraw and Push and many more. When this principle is understood 'physical you should confirm for yourself that it is intrinsically involved in every moving posture -
one way or another!

moving from above


You (any human being) can do both, and in everyday applications we all usually do it right anyway. Most of us breath out as we push a broken down car and most of us breath in before we stand up.
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