While practicing my Chair Chi exercises this morning I focused on the theme of grounding.
Grounding is the ability to stabilise yourself by allowing the Chi to flow through your legs and deeply into the ground. It’s similar to a tree stabilised by its deep and spreading roots.
This is not easy to do when practicising a Chair Chi exercise because the focus is usually on moving the upper body, arms or head which results in the Chi being directed only in those areas. This leaves the lower body disconnected and not grounded.
For example, in one of the exercises I do, Two Hands Holding the Sky Above, I rotate my palms and raise them above my head almost into a full stretch, until they face the sky. As I do this I direct the Chi, starting from my tan tien, to flow upwardly through my body, arms and hands.
What I need to do at the same time is direct the Chi, from my tan tien, to flow through my legs, out the soles of my feet and deeply into the ground like the roots of a tree. When I do this I feel more connected and the exercise becomes complete.
Occasionally I forget to do this and have to refocus on grounding again.
This concept of grounding is something I teach in my Tai Chi and Chair Chi classes. It’s taught only after students can complete a movement correctly as this two way Chi flow is a difficult but necessary concept to master.
Grounding skills are like any other skills in Tai Chi. You need to constantly monitor the skill you are practicing so it’s done correctly.
When you can ground yourself you will tuly be grounded.