This is the third blog covering various parts of the body that must be regulated during the practice of taijiquan. In this particular blog we will be looking at learning to relax and sink the ribcage to promote the lowering of the qi into the lower dantian.
During my taijiquan classes many times have I seen students raising their shoulders, and obviously this means that their ribcage will also rise upwards lifting their energy up into their chest and head. This constant raising up of the shoulders and ribcage can cause dizziness in those individuals who suffer with high blood pressure, plus it can cause them to feel tension and muscle aches within the shoulders, upper back and neck and ribcage.
Learning to relax the shoulders and allowing the ribcage and intercostal muscles to sink will encourage your qi to flow downwards into the lower dantian, so that you can store and cultivate your energy to maintain health and well-being. Relaxation of the ribcage and in costal muscles will also help to relax the lungs making your breathing much more easier.
To many people when practicing taijiquan forms use to much strength in their movements and this can lead to bringing more tension and stiffness into the body than is necessary. Especially with the raising up of the ribcage, all taijiquan movements must have a natural balance between the top and bottom half of the body, being light at the top and heavy at the bottom, this means that the legs and waist carry the upper body, allowing the weight of the upper body to sink downwards helping the top half of the body to remain relaxed.