Principle Four

Keep the arms and hands away from the body, giving yourself space. Make sure that there is space under the arms for the body to breathe freely.

All the movement is carried out with the arms away from the body, not only to create flowing movement, but also to develop energy within around the body. If we come too close to the body the movement seems limited. If we extend too far the movement seems to be exaggerated.

The distance of the hands from the body needs to be correct, not too close nor too far. The distance normally depends on the application, but with Infinite Tai Chi the distance is judged by the feeling and the effect on the energy field. We work out into the energy field around the body, developing and strengthening the field. We feel the position and the movement. When the space is correct the movement feels more powerful.

As we follow the movement, the distance is preserved between the hand and the body in order to maintain the feeling of chi throughout the form.

“In order to make change in your life you need to give yourself time and space. We cannot change while our lives are so busy that we do not give ourselves time for contemplation, reflection and meditation. The purpose of life is to grow, spiritually, and we cannot do that while our life is filled only with the mundane.”

Tai Chi reflects where we are in life. The more open and confident we are the more open and confident the movement. It is not possible to suddenly become more confident, but by extending and opening the movement we feel and appear more confident. This in turn increases our confidence.

We are able to change. We can bring change into our lives but to do so we need to give ourselves space to grow. This largely consists of allowing ourselves the time in our life to change. Most of our life is filled with activity. Unless we find some time in this busyness we cannot expect to be able to change. Time needs to be devoted to ourselves and to our desire for change. This time needs to be focussed on understanding ourselves, our human self and our spiritual self. By knowing all aspects of ourself we can choose which aspect of ourself we present to the world.

However we choose to change we need to remain focussed on our goal, giving ourself time each day to remember what we seek. Eventually we understand that all life is our teacher and we learn to change through life’s lessons.

Practical Exercises
1. extend the arm at full length in front of the heart, slowly bring it in towards the body until you feel a sense of resistance, this is the space you need to create around you
2. Waving hands like a cloud with the hand distance as above.
3. Practice Beloved Chi Kung, feeling the correct position of the hands relative to the body