Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shoulders and Elbows!

[Path to Mastery 3/11/10 – Wk26 D4 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

Today you will find out how Shoulders and Elbows come off of a strong summit!

So here is the visualization method for ‘Settle Shoulder Drop Elbow’:
1.    As you let your head rise using the golden string, you feel your neck lengthen, and eventually the rest of the spine. 
2.    At some point, when the spine is erect enough, you will all of a sudden feel the shoulders drop off your neck.  Yup, that’s right.  You will realize that your neck was scrunched in between your shoulders or vice versa.  As you pull out your neck from between your shoulders, the shoulders lengthen and then drop away from the spine.  Now, if this is not happening, most likely your chin is not tucked in, your throat and neck are too tight, and your head is not set far back enough for it to be balancing on top of your spine so the extra tension that’s been holding it from falling off will let go. 
3.    Now in addition, as the neck is lengthening, you can imagine that the shoulders are like the round asian roof tiles and that they are lightly settling down to the bottom.  Then, imagine that your shoulder tips are starting to drift away from your ears, and as they start to drift away, feel (imagine) your collar bones lengthening.  This will drop your shoulders and let them rest. 
4.    Now imagine that someone grabbed the skin on the tip of your elbow and started gently pulling on it so that your humerus (your upper arm bone) started lengthening away from your armpit.  You may also imagine that there is a weight attached to the elbow and it is hanging away from your shoulders.  This will allow your shoulder to drop even further and relax even further.  It will also create a hollow sensation in your armpit, and if the elbow is sufficiently extended enough, and your shoulder blades are apart from each other as you learned in ‘Contain Chest Raise Back’, then you will feel your elbows connecting to your stomach through your rib cage along the line of your lats.

Now in reality, when the ‘Empty Spirit Summit Strong’ is properly implemented, the elongation of the spine will cause the shoulders to drop and settle naturally, and the elbows will naturally extend out as the back becomes expansive from the shoulder blades and clavicle (collar bone) hanging away from the spine as it extends.  Also, ‘Contain Chest Raise Back’ is a function of the elbows extending out and thus creating the shoulder blades to drift apart from each other so that the effects of ‘Contain Chest Raise Back’ can happen.  In short, ‘Contain Chest Raise Back’ and ‘Settle Shoulder Drop Elbow’ are exactly the same principle in which one describes the condition of the Chest and Back, and the other describes the condition of the Shoulders and Elbow when the Spine is properly lengthened. 

Starting to see a theme here?   We’ll see tomorrow!        

History of Tai-Chi Journey up to this point:
Before the blog opened to the public, we covered the single person part of the system.
1. Chi-Gong (Taoist Longevity, White Crane Chi-Gong)
2. Standing Meditation
3. Stepping Meditation
4. 7 Basics
5. Basic Form
6. 30 Form
7. 108 Form

Interactive training after we went public with the blog. 
1. 8 Type Pushing Hands (Covered from 2/2 ~ 2/11)
2. San-Shou (Covered from 2/12 ~ 2/15)
3. Ba-Gua.(Covering from 2/16 ~ 2/19)
4. Weapons (Covered on 2/23)
5. Healing System (Covered on 2/24)

Non-Structured System:
1.    Introduction (Covered 2/25)
2.    Free moving – conditioning (Covered 2/26)
3.    Free hand pushing hand (Covered 3/1)
4.    Free hand (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/2)
5.    Free hand weapon (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/3)

Detailed Instructions:
1.Principles (Covered 3/4)
2.Principle of Principles (Covered 3/5)
3.Principles of Upper Body (Start on 3/8)
   1) ‘Empty Spirit Summit Strong’  (Covered on 3/8)
   2) ‘Tailbone Centered and Upright’ (Covered on 3/9)
   3) ‘Contain Chest Raise Back’ (Covered 3/10)
   4) ‘Settle Shoulder Drop Elbow’ (Covered today)

1 comment:

  1. OK so as the spine relaxes the shoulders fall into place like the round tiles. The entire body stacks into itself and this is just one more step in the process. I have to say the process you are describing sounds relaxing.