One of the initial benefits that students realize from practicing Qigong or Tai Chi is the improvement of balance. One of the first subjects we cover in our curriculum is the 5 essential beliefs of balance. A few of these 5 principles are as follows : 1. Arrangement of the legs 3. Opposite limbs cooperate 5. Only move the insubstantial. These 5 elements not only apply to our Qigong and Tai Chi forms but they also apply to how we should move about through our day to day lives. Our top middle of head cooperates with the sky above, meanwhile, center between legs cooperates with the earth below.
With these two opposites cooperating our backbone remains long and healthy. Though a straightforward concept this one principle can have an immediate and extreme effect on your physical balance. Bai Hui and Hui Yin are the acupoints at the very ends (top and bottom) of this “vertical line”. In our Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes we refer to Bai Hui acupoint as the “top middle of head” and Hui Yin as the “center between legs”. When Hui Yin seeks the earth below and simultaneously Bai Hui rises to the sky above, our backbone is long and healthy.
With our backbone lengthened our vertebrae are loosened and we lessen the possibilities for diseases and injuries to manifest in our spine due to tension and anxiety building up and resident in our spine. As we move thru our daily lives we wish to feel as if Hui Yin looks for the earth and Bai Hui rises to the sky so that our spine remains long and in a good, cosy position. In this position we may be able to release any tension now living in our backbone and forestall any new stress from taking hold there.
Furhtermore, this line must always remain vertical. To remain in balance we never wish to tilt our backbone forward, back or left or right. You can see how this applies with the frequently used tip to “lift with your legs not your back”. When you lift with your legs, your backbone remains straight. If you bend over forward to choose something up your vertical line has been damaged. Your backbone is tilted and is in a position awfully vulnerable to becoming injured from the strain of lifting. So as you move thru your daily life do not forget to keep that vertical line inside.
In my next article I should explain the small print of the second principle : The arrangement of the legs.