Principle Five

Make sure that you are well rooted into the ground, that your stance is strong and well grounded. Keep the upper body relaxed and the upper body movement flowing.

Tai Chi is a balance between the various aspects of yin and yang. The stance is strong and the upper body movement is relaxed. The movement rises and sinks, expands and contracts. Within the form everything should be balanced, rising and sinking, expansion and contraction, strong and soft, flowing and still, left and right, internal and external.

We keep the connection to earth energy through our strong stance enabling us to balance the strong energy of Heaven. As we stand, we feel pulled down into the earth and at the same time pulled up, as though by a light above the crown. In balance we feel the energy rise through the feet and a light shine down through the top of the head. Everything should feel balanced. The balance represents wholeness, neither one thing nor the other. Tai Chi is a return to wholeness, it is the balance of physical and spiritual, brought together through our human being.

Reflect the Yin and Yang of nature in your stance and movement, the flowing movement comes from a strong base. Each of us will express different qualities of yin and yang, but the aim is to find a balance throughout the movement.
“We maintain balance in our lives. While we seek spiritual growth and development, we also stay grounded in our physical existence. Life is the opportunity for us to learn. We learn to grow spiritually through life’s lessons, so we need to seek the balance in our lives. Although the body is balanced at the Tan Tien, our Being is balanced at the heart.”

Spiritual growth is not about becoming higher or more aloof from daily activity, family and friends, but about discovering a different side to yourself and then expressing those qualities in daily life. We seek to find the unchanging peacefulness within and know it in contrast to our human self. In time we learn to choose which to express to the world.

In Tai Chi we develop three aspects of our being in perfect harmony, a vital physical body, a quiet, connected mind and an open heart. This is the expression of our human side and spiritual side balanced around a central point. The heart becomes the point of balance and integration. It is the supreme achievement of man to express their spiritual nature through their daily activity. It is the epitome of being human.

Practical Exercises
1. Feel the earth beneath the feet, and the light drawing you up. Then feel the subtle balance of energy from the earth rising and light shining down.
2. Go through the form in a yin way, the movement should be very gentle, minimal, with the emphasis on the pull of the earth
3. Repeat the form, this time very yang, all the movement very strong, expansive and feeling pulled up through the crown.
4. Go through a third time, expressing the yin and yang at the appropriate times