The long pole is an important training tool for serious tai chi practitioners. The exercises train the internal core strength of the person and as well as the core’s connection to the whole body. Just a few minutes of working out with the long pole will completely exhaust even a fit athlete.
What I hear over and over again is that many of the people are so depressed that it is hard for them to participate in anything, especially just after the death of a loved one. Once they do a few of the Qigong exercises they all say that they feel much better and start to investigate this wonderful modality called Qigong.
Though they may be referred to as "basic," they are anything but simple. Incorporating these principles into our body and movements takes years of mindful practice.
Tai chi is a discipline that requires patience and persistence. It is an unending journey of learning and self discovery, where you want to enjoy the moment instead of rushing through it.
The close proximity of your partner in this exercise requires precision in the movements to successfully navigate the pattern without losing the flow or your own balance. Therefore it is one of the harder patterns to execute well.
Among the three styles of push hands patterns that we practice, Chen style is the most intricate, and physically challenging. Not only are you in contact with your partner with your arms, you are also connecting with your legs. This means that your partner may potentially push you off-balance via the legs if your stance is not strong enough.
In our previous blog, we discussed the unique aspects of Wu Style push hands and learned to apply them via the Wu Style single hand push pattern. We now continue to learn the Wu Style push hands pattern using both hands.
Unlike the other styles of Tai Chi where the emphasis is on an upright posture, Wu Style leans forward and backward using the back leg as counterbalance. This makes Wu Style push hands very interesting as the leaning provides extra range and extension that may be unexpected to the opponent.
The same basic principles that you apply to the single hand push pattern should also be applied to the double hands push pattern. The significance of these principles is more pronounced as the external interferences have now doubled. With all four limbs committed to the movement, it is much easier to make mistakes like losing your balance, breaking your arm bows or forgetting to relax and sink.
When we start our Push Hands training, one of the first exercises that we learn is the Yang Style Single Hand Push. The movement pattern is very simple, but within this simplicity is a host of challenges that takes a long time for our body to learn; as it requires strict disciplinary control of all body parts.
As our lives become busier and more complicated, an increasing number of people find meditation a great tool to cope with the day to day stresses such as work, finance and relationships. Tai Chi, as a martial art, incorporates many of the foundations of meditation in its practice. Tai Chi is therefore commonly described as "moving meditation."
Without an instructor to keep an eye on proper techniques, online classes can increase your chances of injury. So it is important to choose an exercise that is inherently safe. Here are the reasons why Qi Gong is by far the safest exercise that you can do on your own.