Taijiquan is an internal martial art. What that actually means can provoke some heated arguments. For my nickel, it means that most of what makes a movement or posture effective is happening on a non-physical level. It still manifests as physical, but initiates in the mind. There’s a lot more going on than we can keep track of in any moment, but we can lead the parade with our conscious attention. That’s what leads the qi, and the body follows.
This video shows the sequence I follow when doing any taiji movement. Push is one of the simplest, so it makes a good model. You can extrapolate to any other. For me, it all begins with energetic coherence. That opens the door to everything else. But that’s just the beginning.
Every posture depends on its foundation—the connection with the earth. Your connection can be purely mechanical—gravitational attraction—or something much deeper.
By meeting the earth with your attention, you create a link that permits earth qi to enter through the Bubbling Spring points (K-1) and mingle with the energy of your body-mind. You do that by feeling the earth with the ball of your foot as your first order of business.
Then you set your knee in the optimum position for the structure you want. The foot-knee connection forms a vertical post that supports your body and allows everything else to relax. That permits your kua to do all the things it needs to do. If the foundation is unstable, the kua tenses up and blocks the qi flow and limits the range and freedom of motion.
The movement of the kua is what “shifts” the weight. Don’t even think about “shifting.” That will happen if you use the kua correctly. And the energy flows much more freely. To load the back leg in the yin phase, you first open that energetic connection with the earth. Front leg?
Extend awareness through the ball of that foot before setting the knee. Don’t just rock forward. Prepare your foundation.
It’s the same sequence in every move. Use your attention to energetically prepare before moving your body.
Please try this out. I’d love to hear your feedback.