Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip – #320

The art of Tai Chi Chuan is based on the philosophy of yin and yang. There is nothing mystical or magical about this philosophy. It compares two things, and only at one brief moment in time. Everything in the Universe is in a constant state of change. One moment what you are analyzing can be yin, and the next moment it can be yang, and only in comparison to something else. Nothing is always yin or yang. Let me give you an interesting example.
Most people have ridden a bicycle sometime in their life. There are two pedals attached to each other by an axle. The bicycle moves forward because the pedals are moved around and that moves a chain or belt that moves the wheels. So how does this illustrate yin and yang?
In Tai Chi philosophy, we usually think of an active action as yang and a passive action as yin. Starting with the right foot at the top of the circle, in order to make the bicycle move forward, one would press down with the right leg – yang. But for that to happen, the left leg has to be passive – yin – to allow this to happen.
Say you start with both petals in the half way (both on a horizontal plane) and press down with both legs, nothing will happen. One needs one active (pressing down) leg and one passive (relaxing) leg. And notice how the forces keep changing – passive leg yin changes into yang and active leg yang turns into yin. So far, easy to experience or imagine. If you take a picture with the right leg at the top, starting to press down, you would say the right leg is yang, and if the picture was of the right leg at the bottom, starting up, you would say yin.
But let’s think about how it would be if you have toe clips on your petals. There could be two yangs happening together. One presses down (active) with one leg and pulls up (also active) with the other. With this example, one cannot have two passive (nothing would happen), but can have two active. Interesting.
Reminder: The “Microscope” study of the 54 Form starts on Wednesday, June 2, in Chetzemoka Park. No experience necessary. No fee. Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 to 11 AM.