One of the first exercises I teach anyone interested in Qi Gong or Tai Chi is Tiger Form. The basic premise requires the ability to relax the sacrum and open the chest. For most this is a challenge.
Tiger Form was developed from my training in Kung Fu (XinYi LuiHe). In this harder style we focused on rooting power while moving through an opponent. The rooting technique is what kept our position strong even if our attack fell short. Brilliant in terms of fighting.
The adjusted (softer) version that many of you have been practicing was designed for health. Moving intent through different meridians of the body can only be achieved when the body is open and free of blockages. Working from
the chest and rooting into the Earth requires the ability to soften the upper thoracic cavity as well as release the sacrum and pelvic bowl. The idea is to do both at the same time. But this is not easy. So we break it down into steps.
Being able to feel these portions of our body is step one. Using breath and form we train becoming familiar with what we have in terms of tension. Then we isolate one area at a time, taking our time to learn about what we hold in these two intimate locations of the body.
Once we can soften in isolation, we can then combine and split our intent between the two, achieving both at the same time. From here, the training gets more detailed and specific concerning meridians pathways, further relaxation, and then eventually (if you are keen), strength training.
But for most, the awareness, the ability to feel and then relax is an amazing phenomenon all by itself. These two areas are known to store emotion that we previously were unable to deal with based on our age or time. As we move into the chest and lower back we can learn to embrace and then let go, giving us perspective and insight into our conditioning.
Very exciting stuff. Bottom line is that this will improve the quality of your life and open up your circulation.
You can learn this in any one of our group classes as well as later this month, I am going to be holding a workshop on this exercise.