Body alignments

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    I am not clear on what is meant by letting the hips drop. Are you sort of pulling your tummy in as you do this? Are you making sure there is less of an anterior tilt to the pelvis?



    Bill or someone more experienced will hopefully give you a good answer… but in the meantime, the way I see it… It is not so much one pulling anything anywhere but rather a relaxing and letting things drop naturally. Let gravity do the pulling. The tummy, I believe, should be relaxing and moving slightly downwards and outward itself.



    Michele and Gerry,

    This is exactly the kind of conversation we hope to see in these forums – with everyone in the course  helping each other learn.

    I’d like to encourage everyone to jump in with your impressions when you see a post of interest to you. It’s just like a regular in-person course – you often learn more from the others in the course and from your own experience trying things out than you do from the teacher.

    From now on I’ll be answering less frequently than I have so far. Richard and I will be monitoring the posts, but will only answer when we feel that the conversations are wandering a bit too far afield or that something needs to be addressed quickly. Our tradition’s perspective on learning is that It’s good for you to explore, struggle, discuss, and take in others’ impressions. You’ll more fully learn and  “own” what you’ve learned than if you just keep doing what the teacher said because they said it.

    Since I’m here, I’ll second Gerry’s impression. At this stage of learning you just relax the muscles of your pelvis, thighs, and lower back and let gravity gently pull your pelvis downward.

    It is very important, however, that you balance that downward pull of gravity on your pelvis with a corresponding and equal gentle and relaxed lift of your skull. If you’re able to relax your pelvis down by a quarter inch, then you gently lift the head just a bit higher so that your hips remain at the same height in space. As the qigong, tai chi, and Taoist saying goes  “if something goes up, then something goes down”. That’s how you find and maintain balance.

    This also keeps you from collapsing into your knees as your pelvis relaxes down. Often people relax and drop their hips – or incorrectly tighten their butt, belly, or thigh muscles tp try to pull or push their hips down – and collapse their knees forward. This leads to knee strain and “dead” legs. The muscles tighten to protect the knees and the chi can’t get through that tension. You lose the natural “two-year-old” bounce inside your knees and ankles.

    So if something goes up, something goes down. At this beginning stage of practice, you relax and let your hips drop and also very lightly lift your head and the backs of your knees  to balance that drop.

    You also keep a fairly high stance as you do all this. 

    In later stages of learning, you may learn to practice in lower stances, but there are a number of “tricks”  for how you do this and avoid muscular tension, dead legs, and “flat” joints.

    As we say in our Taoist tradition, “do what’s easy first”.

    But don’t take my word for it. Try out these ideas. Develop sensitivity to subtle muscle and other physical and energy sensations as you explore. And ask through this forum what others are experiencing and trying. The bottom line is that when things “work” in Dragon and Tiger you’ll feel less tension and more space in your body, more bounce, and more alive and full of chi. Use this as your litmus test for your explorations.



    Hello all, Im new to this particular system.
    For the hips I picture my tail pointing down. I do this with the intent of relaxing into it. That being said when I place my mind there with the downward flow. I then start to loose some alignment in my head and neck conection. whn I have this corected. Then I loose the shoulder and shoulder bldes. once this is corrected with the fore mention other alignment points. I then have the lesson of the arms changing their alignment. The interesting thing to me is that this seems to be a flow of enrgy if you will. Kind of like a slow motion cracking of a bull whip.

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