Monday, May 01, 2017

Tai Chi Chuan - Rooting



The characteristic manifestations, aspects, and qualities of "Rooting" in Taijiquan and Qigong to be cultivated through body-mind-spirit practices are as follows:
Maintain an upright posture, head lifted, chin tucked, back straight;
Keep the head, torso, and hips in a relatively straight "plumb" line;
Draw energy (Qi) up from the earth (
Di and allow energy to flow down into the earth through the "bubbling well" point on the bottom of the front pad of your foot (the Yong Quan acupoint KI-1);
Sink the body weight through the legs and feet into the Earth; 
Stay balanced and relaxed (sung) while moving gracefully;
Keep the kneecaps over the center of the foot in settled positions;
Imagine roots branching out and down 3 feet or more into the earth from the "bubbling well" point on your foot with roots that are deep, strong, and flexible;
Develop an improved proprioceptive awareness of the skills needed for the specific activity;
Maintain a steady feeling state of being centered, stable, fixed, and strong in your position;
Resist pushes from others by sinking into the Earth and holding a fixed, strong, stable, and settled stance and footwork;
When pushing others use the earth, your feet, and your legs to generate leverage and power;
Connect with the Earth, relate to Earth energies, integrate with the Powers of the Earth, feel the Earth's Forces;
Keep a calm, grounded, relaxed, and centered mind;
Don't be so stiff and locked you cannot move with some fluidity and grace in response to situations and others;
Align the postures with the path of least resistance (wu wei) in the body;
Rooting is a feeling state and sensation-motor skill and less an intellectual concept;
Maintain postures and footwork while moving that prevent you from loosing balance, slipping, or falling;
Breathe easily, deeply, and effortlessly through the nose;
Be aware of one's footing, i.e., uneven surfaces, slippery or wet surfaces, poorly fitting or inappropriate shoes, hazards, etc.;
Avoid practicing when ill, uneasy, rushed or upset; 
Maintain one's central equilibrium (Zhongding) in the postures and movements.  


The characteristic manifestations, aspects, and qualities of "Central Equilibrium" (
Zhongding 定) in Taijiquan and Qigong to be cultivated through body-mind-spirit practices are as follows: 

Maintain an upright posture, head lifted, chin tucked, back straight;
Keep the head, torso, and hips in a relatively straight "plumb" line;
Maintain 
dynamic stability, be stabilized within, be centered, be settled;
Develop an improved proprioceptive awareness of the skills needed for the specific activity;
Be calm, still and settled in one's mind and emotions;
Allow one's body to sink and settle into the ground;
Keep the kneecaps over the center of the foot in settled positions;
Direct bodily energy (Qi, Chi) downward into the earth;
Relax (Sung), loosen, untense, and unlock the joints of the body;
Avoid wobbling, getting out of balance, or straining.  


Rooting and Centering.  By Mike Garofalo.  

T'ai Chi Chuan

Qigong



"In all qigong practice it is very important to be rooted. Being rooted means to be stable and in firm contact with the ground. If you want to push a car you have to be rooted; the force you exert into the car needs to be balanced by the force into the ground. If you are not rooted, when you push the car you will only push yourself away and not move the car. Your root is made up of your body's sinking, centering, and balance.
    Before you can develop your root, you must first relax and let your body "settle." As you relax, the tension in the various parts of your body will dissolve, and you will find a comfortable way to stand. You will stop fighting the ground to keep your body up and will learn to rely on your body's structure to support itself. This lets the muscles relax even more. Since your body isn't struggling to stand up, your yi won't be pushing upward, and your body, mind, and qi will all be able to sink. If you let dirty water sit quietly, the impurities will gradually settle to the bottom, leaving the water above it clear. In the same way, if you relax your body enough to let it settle, your qi will sink to your dan tian and the bubbling wells (yongquan, K-1, 湧泉) in your feet and your mind will become clear. Then you can begin to develop your root.
    To root your body you must imitate a tree and grow an invisible root under your feet. This will give you a firm root to keep you stable in your training. Your root must be wide as well as deep. Naturally, your yi must grow first because it is the yi that leads the qi. Your yi must be able to lead the qi to your feet and be able to communicate with the ground. Only when your yi can communicate with the ground will your qi be able to grow beyond your feet and enter the ground to build the root. The bubbling well cavity is the gate that enables your qi to communicate with the ground.  
    After you have gained your root, you must learn how to keep your center. A stable center will make your qi develop evenly and uniformly. If you lose this center, your qi will not be led evenly. In order to keep your body centered, you must first center your yi and then match your body to it. Only under these conditions will the qigong forms you practice have their root. Your mental and physical centers are the keys that enable you to lead your qi beyond your body.
    Balance is the product of rooting and centering. Balance includes balancing the qi and the physical body. It does not matter which aspect of balance you are dealing with; first, you must balance your yi, and only then can you balance your qi and your physical body."
-  Grandmaster Yang, Jwing-Ming  




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