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5 Principles of Tai Chi & QiGong

Updated: Mar 3, 2023


QIGONG can be thought of as a movement you do for a certain situation,

where TAI CHI is a series of movements that work on the entire body in a flowing sequence.

Qi Gong is mind body spirit practice, translated as breath work or energy work. It improves mental health and physical health by the integration of posture, movement, self-massage, breathing techniques, sound and focused intent.

Tai Chi is often described as meditation in motion as it is a slow motion low impact exercise which

goes through a series of motions without pauses. As you move you breathe deeply and naturally focusing your intention on your bodily sensations. It improves balance, flexibility, calm, relaxation, upper and lower body strength, as well as the core muscles of back and abdomen.

Balance and benefits

Balance development is one of the first benefits that trainees notice while practicing Qigong or Tai Chi. Through the practice of these ancient skills, both the young and elderly may drastically enhance their balance. The five basic elements of balance are one of the first subjects to be taught.

The following are the five principles:

1. Vertical Line Inside/within

2. Arrangement of the legs

3. Arrangement of the waist

4. Opposite limbs cooperate

5. Only move the insubstantial

These five principles apply to our Qigong and Tai Chi forms and how we should move in our daily lives.

Our "vertical line within" is the initial premise. Our top center of the head collaborates with the sky above, while our bottom center of the legs collaborates with the ground below. With these two exact opposites working together, our spine remains long and healthy. Despite its simplicity, this one principle may have an instant and significant influence on your physical balance.

At the very ends (top and bottom) of this "vertical line" are Bai Hui and Hui Yin. In many Tai Chi and Qi Gong courses, the Bai Hui acupoint is the "top center of the head," while the Hui Yin acupoint is the "center between the legs."

Our spine is long and robust when Hui Yin searches the ground below, and Bai Hui ascends to the sky above. Our vertebrae are relaxed as our spine is extended. We reduce the possibilities of diseases and injuries manifesting in our spine due to stress and tension building up and staying in our spine.

We want to feel as though Hui Yin searches the ground and Bai Hui ascends to the sky as we go about our everyday lives so that our spine stays long and in a healthy, comfortable posture. In this posture, we may release any tension already living in our spine and prevent any new tension from forming there.

Furthermore, this line must always be vertical. We never want to shift our spine forward, backward, left, or right to maintain balance.

Tilting the spine exerts undue strain on particular vertebrae while also having a detrimental influence on other body regions.

This is shown by the oft-repeated advice to "raise with your legs, not your back." When you raise your legs, keep your spine straight. When you lean forward to pick something up, your vertical line is broken. Your spine is twisted and in a susceptible position to injury from the effort of lifting. So, while you go about your everyday activities, try to keep that vertical line within.

In closing,

Let us be Present. Let us be of Light. Let us be of Love.

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