Tai Chi Y2D196: Button and Zipper

Alicia recommended the “Button and Zipper” approach when trying to combine horse stance with the rest of the form.  I’ll let her explain, for those too busy to go back to the original post where she commented:

Something that might help you with horse stance is the button and zipper, which is really something everyone should try and think about throughout the day whatever they are doing. You want to create a neutral spine and a tucked pelvis. Most people believe they are doing this but usually are not. So to make sure you’re engaging fully, think about your belly button as a literal button that attaches close to the spine. Draw it in like you are buttoning it and you will experience your pelvis moving into the correct position. This usually has the effect of drawing your rib cage down, so now you imagine a zipper that goes from your belly button to your breast bone. Zip it up.The overall effect is one of lifting and lightening, and should make your horse stance somewhat more effortless and easier on the knees.

I gave that method its first real test in my own practice this morning, checking in on myself every posture or so to see if I was buttoned up and zipped up.  It was hard, but doable — the core muscles have gotten into something resembling good shape, so holding this posture is not impossible.  What is currently quite difficult is moving while being buttoned up and zipped up.  This is going to take some work.

As she says, though, it’s important to try and practice this throughout the day.  As I’m sitting here typing, I’m trying to be “buttoned and zipped.”  It’s difficult, because I’m used to breathing with these muscles relaxed — but, my sit-bones are actually resting on the chair.  Where they’re supposed to be.

Thanks for the technique, Alicia!


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