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  • Weight Shifting in Qigong: A Journey Through Yin and Yang

The concept of yin and yang is foundational to Eastern philosophy. You will find this concept throughout Tai Chi and Qigong.

Yin and Yang are opposite yet complementary forces. Think of s light and dark, hot and cold, and so on. But have you ever considered how this idea of yin and yang manifests in your body? 

Specifically we will look at standing meditation and Tai Chi forms.

Let's get right into where your bodily awareness meets ancient wisdom.

Yin and Yang

Understanding Yin and Yang in the Body

Think of your body as a turtle. Your hard shell represents the yang concept. In contrast, your soft underbelly symbolizes the yin concept.

To break it down further:

  • Yang (Posterior): The back of the body. This includes your spine, shoulders, and legs. This represents the more resilient and hard aspects of Tai Chi and Chi gung. This is your 'external armor,' so to speak.
  • Yin (Anterior): The front of your body. This ranges from your chest to your internal organs. It is the softer, more yielding part. This is the 'soft underbelly.'

The Medial and Lateral Perspectives

We can even extend this to the lateral (external) and medial (internal) parts of our limbs:

  • Yang (Lateral): The outside of your arms and legs are more yang. This functions as your 'exoskeleton.'
  • Yin (Medial): The inner parts of your arms and legs. These are closer to your midline, are more yin. These areas are softer and generally more sensitive.

Weight Shifting and the Interplay of Yin and Yang

When you practice standing meditation or Tai Chi forms, you may unconsciously shift your weight through the yang parts of your body

You are now focusing on the external, resilient areas. However, shifting your focus toward the yin or medial aspects while weight shifting can be transformative.

Here's how to apply this understanding during a simple Tai Chi form:

Step 1: Centering the Weight

As you shift your weight to your left leg, imagine the weight-bearing line running through the inside or medial aspect of the leg rather than the external lateral part. This helps you connect with the yin aspects of your body.

Step 2: Balloon Analogy

Visualize inflating a balloon within you as you move. The external rubber of the balloon is your yang. The air inside that gives it form and structure is your yin. Feel this balloon expand into the anterior aspect of your body as you rotate.

Step 3: Posture and Movement

Maintain your posture and focus on the yin aspects. This can make your Tai Chi forms feel more balanced and integrated. This will improve your posture and flow.

Step 4: Releasing Tension

Any accumulated tension can be seen as an imbalance between yin and yang. Focus on releasing this tension. Allow your energy to flow in long strands rather than condensing into a 'big poof.'

The concept of yin and yang isn't just philosophical or metaphorical. It is a very real, tangible way to improve your Tai Chi and Qigong movements. Pay attention to how yin and yang manifest in your body and movement. You will achieve a more balanced, harmonious state.

This results are a more effective practice and a greater sense of well-being. So the next time you're practicing your Tai Chi stance, remember—your journey to mastering these ancient arts may just start with understanding the yin and yang within you.