Today, I discovered that if I am doing tai chi in the morning, it is important to remember to bend my knees. Not just a little bit about that, but a fairly deep one; yet not so much that I stand with my knees so far forward that I cannot see my toes. But doing that helps lock my hips in place, so that the twisting exercises actually engage the muscles in my lower back. Thus I stretch out the fascia in the place where it tends to be tight.
So much of tai chi appears to rest on remembering these small body shifts, until they become part of the muscle memory of doing the work. I have done tai chi now for 366+156 = 522 days. Get so much of my time is spent trying to remember all of the exact postures and make sure that I am matching the ideal body position. The last few days, I haven’t really noticed a twist in my hips. And yet today, I realized that I have been allowing my body to move from my ankles or my knees during the upper body qi gong movements. If my knees were bent properly, only my upper body would be moving; and the spring of the upper body movement, against the anchor of the lower body, would be what what gave force to the movement.
This makes me wonder, if there aren’t two different kinds of motion for posture here. One kind, would be the motion of the waist lock spring, where the lower body serves as an anchor to the flexibility of the upper body… The other, would be a motion where the feet or the knees provide the anchor for the rest of the of the body to be the spring loaded action of the movement. The anchor starting from the waist down, seems more stable; but the more flexible ankle-up motion may be more unexpected, or surprising.
Both motions of course require me to know when my knees are bent, and when they are not. It also requires me to practice consciously, so that I know which kind of motion I am doing.