Tai Chi practice can be a beautiful way to exercise and express yourself. Each posture in the Tai Chi form is a work of art. We can give each of the 41 techniques in the Tai chi Form a little love and polish. When I think of creating a beautiful Tai Chi posture I always focus on frame, curves, smooth, and long.
Moving gracefully with whole body synergy also requires moving with proper sequencing of the actions of the whole body to stay poised and balanced as well as powerful. Frame means the basic structure of your Tai chi with your head, shoulders, and hips level, and your spine straight and vertical. Curves means keeping the arms carefully bent and extended to create a series of arches and arcs that make our movements appear rounded and circular. Smooth means moving smoothly without tilting or twisting the frame of the body or breaking up the lines and balanced appearance of each posture. Long means opening the body and joints, stepping longer, shifting the more fully and reaching further using the shoulder blade and collar bone to extend and control the arm. Every movement and posture or technique in Tai Chi can be improved by focusing on improving your frame by straightening your back, particularly your lower back and or neck. Relaxing and rounding your shoulders, sinking your elbows and smoothing your wrists can improve the appearance of all the movements in your Tai Chi form. Opening your body and focusing on extending your arms while maintaining a beautiful curve of the arm and not straightening it or raising the shoulders improves all of your movements. Focusing on the weight shift and turn of the hips to make the broad sweeping gestures of Tai Chi smooth enhances the grace and beauty of your whole Tai Chi form. By combining the straight lines and curves into long, smooth movements we create complex spirals, helixes, and other wonderful geometries around us as we move relaxing our minds and bodies in a beautiful harmonious expression of balance and bliss.
In our New 10,000 Victories Comprehensive Tai Chi course we have a series of lessons called “Beauty and Performance Tips for the 41 Techniques”. This series of 42 lessons explains the beauty of each posture in the Tai Chi form. These detailed lessons are a satisfying deep dive into the heart of each technique. We begin by examining and demonstrating the overall principles of making Tai Chi beautiful that we outlined above. Then we have a separate lesson for each of 41 techniques so your can study each lesson and learn how to improve the beauty of each technique. These lessons include lots of specific tips for each technique. Enhancing the beauty of your Tai Chi deepens your own satisfaction with the quality of your Tai Chi. Developing the beauty of your Tai Chi also to increases your confidence and joy in performing for your family and friends, at events, or even perhaps one day at tournaments with our award winning team.
Some of these lessons were shot in the beautiful fog enshrouded crests of Mount Tamalpais. Soon it will be your turn to enjoy them, too!