Open and close – Open and close your body and movement like a flower in the morning and evening. Give out to the universe and focus back in on your core.
Yin and yang
In Tai Chi we try to constantly flow and change between Yin and Yang. We borrow some energy from the universe, work with it and give it back again. We don’t want to keep it, else it would become stale and harmful.
We switch from moment to moment between strong and stable and then flexible and agile, between expanding out into the universe and then sinking back deep into our core. In the ‘walk of the hero’ we switch from proud to humble to confident within just a few movements.
Your mind follows your body
It takes a long time to develop that state of mind, to feel the flow between the different opposing states and to finally achieve the merging of them. A way to practice is by letting our body express those states and then just watch, listen and learn how that feels.
“Your body follows your mind. Your mind follows your body.”
When practicing your movements, try to make a distinction between opening and closing. Between embracing the universe, giving out all the energy you have and then sinking into your center, retracting and storing the energy for a moment.
Imagine to be a flower
Turn yourself into a huge energy pump for the universe. Turn your body into a flower, that opens its petals in the morning, showing all its beauty to the world and soaking in the sunlight and then goes back and closes for the night to recharge and preserve energy.
Make your movements big and open, contract your back muscles and open your chest and then reverse, bring your movements back to your center, contract your chest muscles and stretch your back.
Practicing open and close will help you to gradually understand the flow between Yin and Yang. It will open your eyes to our role as big energy pumps in the universe (not energy hoarders or energy drains) and it will gently loosen and stretch your torso and limbs.