No, not like the picture; that was just a cheap trick to get your attention. But, To do tai chi well, the entire body must be relaxed and expanded. But keeping the boy and arms expanded can be challenging when one is trying to remember the sequence of steps, and how the arms move, and how the legs turn, and all the many things that go into making tai chi movements graceful, powerful, and expressive. An easy way to have students remember to open and expand their stance is to imagine that they are getting ready to slow dance; to hold their partner just before beginning to slow dance. This may sound strange because as teachers we constantly reiterate that tai chi is NOT a dance. So, what are we suggesting? We are suggesting to our students that they hold their body as if they are getting ready to slow dance. When you think of slow dancing, you immediately open your arms, sink your chest and expand your body. Some of you may even relax, depending on the partner 😊. If you think about it, it is uncomfortable to slow dance with arms close to your sides or with your chest puffed out. If you can hold that posture of openness and expansion as you start your moves, you will feel the expansion of the space around you. You will find yourself doing tai chi with a better posture.
A shout out to Eric Poling for giving me this idea.
Written By: Joseph Eber