Tai Chi is practice for life. Life is the way – the way life is! Life is duality, life is polarity, subject & object, light & dark, yin & yang. Tai Chi is balance. The balance of the interplay of yin & yang within the changing flow of the universe. We can look at balancing two fundamental principles, integration & expansion. Integration means making whole, completing and harmonising. Expansion means growth and development.
Tai Chi practice works on three basic levels, the physical/body, the emotional/energetic & the mental/spiritual. Each of these levels is a realm in which we practice the balance between integration and expansion. For our body, integration is learning to move as one. When one part moves all parts move. We work on co-ordination and whole body movement. Integrity of movement comes out of using our body naturally, creating internal alignment in our joints and external alignment with gravity. From body integration comes readiness for expansion so we move faster for fitness, go deeper for strength and make larger movements for flexibility. Our physical health thrives on the balance of integration and expansion.
At the level of energy and emotion, integration comes with greater sensitivity. We notice and allow emotions and we complete our awareness of all that we feel within ourself and around us. Expansion is the practice of opening up our energy to increase the flow and expand our field. Expansion raises the vibration of our energy. We expand emotionally through communication, sharing what we are feeling and listening to what other people feel. We expand energetically by working with a partner sensing their movement and intention in relation to ourself.
At the most subtle level of our mind, we work on integration through processing the events that make up our reality and uncovering beliefs and negative thought patterns that are holding us back. This is balanced by mental and spiritual expansion through ongoing learning and deeper exploration of our consciousness. Ultimately we move beyond the limitations of three dimensional reality and learn to trust our ‘higher self’.
We can see these principles on a timeline. Integration processes the past and expansion moves to the future. Both aspects meet in the moment …the now, now NOW!
All that I practice and teach comes from participation in the Golden Flower Tai Chi School. Master San Gee Tam and Annukka lovingly lead us on a complete path of self cultivation. We have a lot of laughs along the way.