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tai chi posture basics

Good tai chi posture basics include the ability to release tension from the muscles. This means you keep all joints, knees, wrist, elbows and shoulders relaxed.
You'll hear tai chi teachers telling you to "relax", "let go" or even keep the joints "soft" ...

shibashi flying dove illustration Be especially careful when you raise the arms to shoulder height -
there is a temptation to raise the shoulders and hunch them round your ears -
keep them relaxed and down.

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poor knee posture Be even more careful when you sink the body.

Many qigong and tai chi beginners do this by bending their knees forward -

this is very bad for your knee joints - they are not designed to take the weight.

Sinking the body is like sitting on a stool. Your bottom lowers first bringing the body with it. Your knees do bend slightly but only because they have no where else to go. When you do this the weight is carried by the thighs

Your knees should never extend beyond your toes

good knee posture Try this experiment ( you might have trouble balancing so go slowly and carefully) stand in front of a door or a wall with your toes hard up against the wall. Lower your body - and see how far the knees go before they reach the wall..

It's not far is it? And it is in proportion to the size of your feet (think about it).

You can try to get your body lower to the ground by lowering your bottom - and this is where you will find balance problems until the leg muscles get stronger - this is sinking the body.

And to complicate things you need to keep your back straight with your tail bone tucked under while you are raising and sinking the body.

It comes with practice. We're told that tai chi and qigong experts can lower their body so that their thighs are parallel with the ground! We're not there yet ......

Time to get started. A good place to start is with shibashi


If you find the tai chi instructions unclear or if you have any queries about the exercises or have some favourite qigong exercises that you would like to share then contact us .