Taiji day 176: root and flanks

You may have seen those diagrams of chakras in the body: third eye, heart chakra, solar plexus and so forth. Today I had the root come alive. It wasn’t actually filled with energy, though: I just found the muscles that hold my pelvis in the right place while doing Five Gold Coins.

To be fair, I’d been doing some deep breathing exercises beforehand. So I was topped off with good breath work, and I had this unusual sense that there was a strength in my lower abdomen that I hadn’t had so far. So I tried, as best I could, to work five gold coins and eight pieces of silk from there. The result was a much hotter workout than usual, even in these dog days of summer. I’m sweating.

I could not maintain this focus from the root all the way through the form. I got most of the way, but the muscles pooped out. I completed the form but not with the same drive or focus from this spot at the core of my pelvis.

On the other hand, I found that when I worked from that core, my flanks – the muscles along the sides of my body, from the armpits to the hips – did what they’re supposed to. They generated the twists and upper body bends. So, when the leg and hip muscles hold the pelvis properly, the flanks function correctly. Interesting.

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