Taijiquan at Kripalu

Many thanks to the wonderful Kripalu folks for sponsoring last weekend’s “Taijiqan Immersion.” It was an intensive introduction to both taijiquan and to my particular teaching methods and language, and I had my doubts going in. How were we going to do justice to all this material in such a limited time? This group was more than up to the challenge, though, and we did cover the entire Yang Cheng Fu’s 13 Original Postures plus a solid grounding in my “Three Pillars”:

  1. Energetic Coherence
  2. Central Equilibrium
  3. Song Kua

The only way we could do all this was to abandon upfront any emphasis on actually remembering the choreography. Instead, we focused on feeling what was going on: the “effortless power,” the flow of qi, the energetic connection to the earth (rooting), the mental clarity, the shift of awareness into a superconscious state. In essence, it was an opportunity for even absolute beginners to experience in a safe environment what it feels like to be an advanced taijiquan practitioner.

The “Three Pillars” are an adventure in embracing paradox. They defy the expectations of a lifetime by exposing us to greatly enhanced abilities with very little effort. Our habitual patterns are so deeply rooted, however, that our bodies continue to do what is familiar long after our minds know that there is a better way.

Changing that requires gongfu, diligent effort over time. Enter Yang Cheng Fu’s 13 Original Postures, a very short, but extremely powerful taijiquan form. I learned it from Master Yang Fukui, who learned it from his great granduncle, Zhai Yongwen.

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As short as it is, it is still a lot, particularly when you are also just getting comfortable moving from a state of expanded consciousness. It is an immersion into a new paradigm, one governed by direct experience rather than rote learning. Hence the lack of emphasis on actually remembering the movements and more on FEELING each posture. My words are not set in stone. They are maps to return you to the feeling.

The actually gongfu comes from the regular practice, and to assist with that I created about 30 short videos on YouTube. (The playlist is “unlisted” for the moment, but if you are interested please email me and I’ll link you up.) I’ll also be following up with seminars in the Connecticut area. And I will happily review any videos you send me of you doing the form. (I can save you a lot of time and frustration.)

“Taijiquan Immersion” is not a one-off. I am happy to bring it wherever there is interest. 

 

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