Yang Style Tai Chi Elbows Sink, Shoulders Droop.

As I go around teaching Yang style Tai Chi to many classes. The one thing that I notice is that to many individuals concentrate to much on learning the movements, rather than learning how to relax and release the tension within their backs, shoulders, elbows and wrists. The more you can make your upper body movements soft and loose (Song) the more you will increase the flow of blood (Xue) and energy (Qi) into your fingertips and palms.
By learning to concentrate on allowing your elbows to droop towards the ground at a 45 degree angle while performing the movements of your Tai Chi form will stop your shoulders from rising up. The drooping of the elbows and the sinking of the shoulders is not just important for the benefit of relaxation. It is taught so that you are allowing your body weight to sink downwards to the ground, helping you to ground your energy by lowering your centre of gravity. This will make the lower part of your body feel heavy and the upper part of the body feeling light. This is the correct Yin & Yang balanced feeling that you must maintain through the practice of the whole Tai Chi form.
On a health basis, the more you can learn to relax and release the tension within your shoulders and joints by allowing them to sink downwards can also help in lowering the blood pressure, it will also calm and soothe the nervous system helping to release any anxiety or stress both physically, emotionally and mentally.
When you practice your Tai Chi pay more attention to drooping your elbows and sinking the shoulders. Above all concentrate on relaxing the joints of the upper body and watch carefully where you might be holding the tension in to your body. So many times have I seen many individuals unaware that they have locked their elbows or tensed their wrists or allowed their shoulders to rise up. Alongside going through the soft, graceful, flowing movements of your Tai Chi, you must also be constantly observing yourself, watching and feeling for any tension being caused through a locked joint or leaning in any direction due to poor posture and in-correct body alignment. The more you can maintain accuracy in your movements, alongside soft and loose movements the more you will reap the benefits of your Yang style Tai Chi practice towards balancing you state of well being.

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