“Why do Taichi? Every day, gravity wants to pull you down,
so your internal force has to push back up and out.”
Master Waysun Liao
Our life energy is a force inside of us that keeps us in balance with the forces of nature. One of the forces of nature that impacts us all the time is gravity. With illness or as we age, gravity can get the better of us — we need to sit down more often, or can only lie down if we are in bad shape. Older people can even stoop or grow shorter over time as gravity pulls down on their very bones, cartilage, and ligaments. Ultimately, when we die, we collapse — what’s left of our bodies is pulled back down into the dust and soil of earth itself.
Our physical bodies are just our “form,” while life energy – or Chi – is the force that animates and holds that form together. That’s why in Taichi, we aren’t doing physical exercise so much as exercising that life force.
“You might claim to have seen a tornado, either in real life or on television. But actually, you did not ‘see’ the tornado. What you saw was merely the debris that the tornado churned up and held together in form. The actual force we call a tornado was the invisible part you could not see theheld the whirling debris together and gave it power. Similarly, it is our Chi that holds us together, animates us, and makes us who we really are…”
Master Waysun Liao, from the book Chi: Discovering Your Life Energy
How does it work? Taichi exercises our life force so that we can stay in better balance. We often use Taichi moving meditation to pull in our energy inward and center ourselves when we feel too distracted, stressed or scattered. But we can also use Taichi to keep our life force strong enough to keep pushing upward and outward when gravity and the other burdens of life on earth work hard to pull us down.
So while gravity is at work in the aging process, we can help our bodies stay upright and strong, balanced and full of life. And if we are injured, or older, or ill, Taichi can be adapted to practice in a seated posture, and even lying down. In all cases, Taichi is a great tool to keep our life force at its highest potential no matter what our age or state of health and ability.
Join us on Sundays as we learn from Master Waysun Liao how to exercise our life energy, moving inward and outward, upward and downward, so that we can better coexist with the forces around us and not let them overwhelm us.