Principle Three

Our weight shifts, constantly moving, filling one side and emptying the other. Feel the weight move, awareness of the emptiness and the fullness. Always move as though you are ready for the unexpected.

Feel the weight shift as you move through the form. The weight is constantly moving. The weight shifts from side to side. As the weight moves to one side, that side becomes full and the other side, with less weight, becomes empty. When the weight shifts to one side then we are able to move the other side more easily.

The shift of weight takes place gradually, turning the body. We control the shift of weight so that the movement flows gently. We put down the heel first, so you can control the shifting of the weight. Sink the weight down gently so that you can lift up again or change direction, if necessary. The movement is controlled, and in the control we find smoothness. Slow down and become aware of the gentle shifting of the weight.

Adapt the form to how you feel, sometimes stronger and more expansive, sometimes soft, gentle and nurturing. It is not always necessary for the form to be the same. It should reflect our mood and our vitality. When we feel strong and expansive, this should be reflected in the form, when we feel tired or introspective the form becomes softer and gentler.

“Tai Chi is the universal dance of life, the constant interplay of Yin and Yang. Expect the unexpected in your life. Nothing will stay the same for long. Be open to change and see it as exciting instead of threatening. Change is the natural state of Being.”

The Tai Chi symbol represents the balance between Yin and Yang. The curved shapes represent the constant change taking place, ultimately creating balance around the centre. In life everything is changing, while we might seek to maintain stability, it is never achieved. Everything is always changing and if we can accept that we are able to cope with the ups and downs of life, knowing that everything is temporary.

The world is in constant flow, seasons come and go, night changes into day. The world follows the natural cycles of life. We too follow natural cycles, our bodies, developing and changing. Our thoughts, beliefs and emotions are constantly changing too. In Tai Chi we seek wholeness, a balance between the yin and yang, this means accepting all sides of our self and acknowledging that change is natural. One we accept change as natural we can use change to help us grow and develop. Life becomes a series of opportunities to learn and grow. Change becomes a tool for growth and change becomes exciting.

Practical Exercises
1. Waving hands like a cloud, feel the weight shifting from one foot to the other.
2. Continue, but this time slide the leg in and then step with every movement
3. Use cosmic circles, feeling the weight shift, so that you can step, try not to slide the feet. Traverse across the room and then go back the other way
4. Go through the form feeling the shift of weight.