Friday, May 28, 2010

The Preparation - Not Just Separating Your Feet.

When performed at its highest level, every Tai Chi movement contains every principle of Tai Chi.  Personal growth and the benefit gained from doing Tai Chi relates to how full each move can become.  That means how many of the principles of Tai Chi are included and at what level are they being done.  Very often the Preparation is reduced to just separating one's feet.  When that is done slowly and under control, with no sense of falling into the step, one at least gets a balance credit.  However, many teachers allow this move to become a race to get ready.  Separate your feet so we can now start doing Tai Chi.  The fact is the preparation is a highly complex move with only the finish being " Feet Separated ".  Circling the upper body to create a shift, folding in two directions to move the empty leg back, counter circling to move  that leg to the left ...while unfolding to move the foot forward into a parallel position incorporating the concept of the Empty Foot ... and finishing the circle to temporarily (transition) being double balanced.  The upper body remains folded so as to lead immediately into the commencement. All of this happens while keeping ....hips to the front, expanding & contracting,  relaxing the shoulders, maintaining a solid root in the right leg with perfect knee over foot alignment.  Not Exactly Just Separating Your Feet. So ... slow down and get the benefit from every move.