Everything & the Sinking Qi
Tai Chi is about sinking. This isn't like heaviness as in a ship sinking, but more of a weightless release of muscles, allowing the skeleton to effortlessly hold the weight of the body. Let your relaxed shoulders sink away from your neck as you sink into your movements. It's as if you were swimming through an atmosphere of effortlessness
as you move through your forms.
Sinking Your Weight
Each Tai Chi movement is associated with an inhale and/or an exhale. When you move and exhale, you allow the body to sink into a feeling of effortlessness. (See video link to right for a Qigong Breathing Lesson).
This is how it's done: As you transfer your weight from one leg to the other, relax the entire weight of the body down into the weight-bearing leg (see the animated video to the right "The 3 Dan Tiens").
The Chinese call this "sinking your Qi." By practicing this in Tai Chi you will move more effortlessly, and your balance will improve. This also promotes blood and energy circulation through the body and encourages less joint damage by removing chronic tension from your daily movements. Tight muscles make tighter joints.
In the FREE Online Video Lessons section you'll see examples of this. Also, view this video clip with added Qi lighting images when the woman is going through her Tai Chi movements. The lighting gives an indication of which of her legs or arms is filling with Qi and weight.
When your weight or Qi is sinking into the leg you are filling, you think of the spine elongating down and the Qi, or energy flowing through your leg, deep down into the earth below.