Let’s borrow some tai chi from Master Cheng.
It starts, like in yoga, with your feet. How wide? Like how you align many poses, you need to notice how it feels and align your feet in a way that works for you.
Place your feet just wider than your hips. Shift all of your weight to one side. If you have your feet too close to each other then you will feel like you might fall to the side. And if you place your feet too wide, you will not easily shift all your weight to one side.
If as you shift all your weight to one side, you feel your weight bearing foot begin to roll outwards, try standing a little wider.
Start by shifting your weight all the way to one side, then slowly shifting all your weight to the other side. Just practice shifting all of your weight slowly from one side to the other side without turning.
Next practise staying level. Avoid bobbing up and down as you shift all of your weight from one side to another. Keep your eyes and shoulders and hips all moving smoothly along imaginary horizontal lines.
Next practise keeping your knee aligned above your foot on the side you put your weight.
- Feet facing forward
- Feet wider than hips
- Feet square on the floor
- Knees bent
- Knee over foot on weight bearing side
- Hip joint above ankle on weighted side
- Pelvis vertical
- Torso vertical, be aware and don’t lean
- Keep your nose above your navel above your pubic bone on an imaginary vertical line as you move, turn from your hips not your torso
- Move your center and let the rest of you follow
- Keep your pelvis and torso vertical throughout the movement
- Shift all of your weight to one side
- Unweight your opposite side
- Feel for the outside edge of your unweighted foot touching the floor
- Feel for your feet being square, not rolling inward or outward as you move
- Engage your muscles to pull your weighted knee to align over that foot
- Turn your pelvis toward the weight bearing side
- Keep your weight bearing leg stationary while you turn your pelvis above it
Like Mountain and Tree and Warrior 2, in Constant Bear you need to engage muscles to keep your knee above your foot on the weighted side. Like Tree and Warrior 2, in Constant Bear you need to engage muscles to turn your pelvis.
Do the movement soft, smooth, flowing, and controlled.
When the movement has become familiar, you can intensify it some of the time.
- Turn your pelvis firmly away from your weighted side as you shift to it
- Push away your heel firmly on your unweighted side
Extending the movement will help open your pelvis.
Keep your eyes looking out above your navel. Let your gaze turn as you turn.
You can rest your hands lightly on your pubic bone, palms up and fingers overlapped, as a reminder to keep your pelvis and torso vertical and to move from your center.
Once the movement has become familiar, experiment with wider stances, but still shift all of your weight onto one leg.
As we keep our knees bent and our pelvis down and moving along a horizontal line, we can scrunch our backs. Lift your torso and extend your back up through all of the movement. As you slowly shift back and forth and turn, feel your torso lift and really open as you continue the movement.