Questions regarding Pelvic Tilt and Bending of Knee

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    Hi Paul,
    Thank you for the great course and found very informative. I have been practicing the Tai Chi and D&T almost more than a year, through the energy arts program. But I have couple of questions regarding the pelvic tilt and bending of knee.

    Pelvic Tilt
    Whenever I practice tai chi and D&T continuously, my lower back feels little stressed/stiffness/pain. Last mont in couple of days I didn’t practice and I did go for bikram yoga, but I didn’t have any pain at that time, so I was researching in the internet and I found some interesting articles which discusses about tucking the tail bone is a dangerous practice.
    ( )
    Again when I started watching the lectures from “Five Keys to Taoist Energy Arts”, you are clearly demonstrating the tilting of pelvic with the student.
    Is tucking the tail bone is wrongly interpreted like what it says in these articles or something which I’m doing regarding the tuck in/ tilting the plevic?

    Bending of Knee:

    Regarding the bending of knee also the same thing, what you are showing is bend slightly to get an alignment as a straight line from tip of the knee cap to the arch of the feet. Whenever I am trying bending that far my both knees are hurting.
    Being compliance to 70% rule, should I bend only that far which just releases out of the lock or straight knee. It will bring the knee to little further than the line to the heel; not going to bring to a straight line to the arch of the feet. Will it still allow the flow of energy through the knee to the ground?
    Thank you in advance for any help/suggestion to improve my practice.


    Hi Till,

    First and foremost, if you’re experiencing pain doing any
    exercise, you must discontinue until you find out what you are doing
    incorrectly. It could be that you’re forcing your body and going way beyond
    your 70 percent. It could be that your alignments are going out and therefore causing
    problems in your lower spine or knees. Whatever the case, I would advise seeing
    a fully qualified Energy Arts instructor (preferably with 10 years experience
    teaching) to get personal feedback to identify the problem(s) before you resume
    training. Your proprioception seems to be off track and you need a live teacher
    to get you on the road.

    Where the standing position is concerned, you bend your legs
    just enough to take your knees off of lock and engage your thigh muscles. If
    you bend more than this, you will push your knees too far forward, which can
    cause pain and injury.

    In our programme, we do GENTLY, SLOWLY and within the
    flexibility of our body tuck the tailbone. You never force your body; you’re
    always gentle with your body; and if you follow these guidelines, you will not
    experience any pain and you won’t cause yourself any problems.


    Hi, Till. I took a look at the links you posted. There comments seemed to be based on a complete misunderstanding of tucking. It is easy to see from the picture in the upper right in the article “Dangers of Tucking.” This is NOT tucking. Tucking, at least what this school teaches, is much more subtle, and should never cause you to slump and/or stretch your neck forward like the picture shows. You don’t thrust your pelvis forward as they are showing in the diagram.

    A good way to tell if you are doing it wrong is to place your hands on the crease at the front of the hips. If you lose that crease (like you can see in the pictures in the two articles), you are tilting the pelvis way too much. I suspect this probably can also cause pressure in your kneecap, even if your knees are not too far forward.

    I hope this helps.


    I agree with Catherine that what is shown in those websites doesn’t look like pelvis tuck that is taught here.

    At the same time. I think that Till’s question re pelvis tuck goes deeper than that. I’m talking about a chronic condition when lumbar spine is flattened and pelvis is chronically tucked. This is what increasingly happens with office workers who sit a lot, and this is what actually happened with me. I sit 12-14 hours a day, and most time I can’t maintain proper posture. All this results in flattening of the lumbar spine and chronic pelvic tuck. And this is where Till’s question comes forward: do we have to train the pelvic tuck if somebody already has this chronic condition of flattened lumbar spine? Because if we do, we can exacerbate the existing medical condition.

    I became aware of that after a visit to a acupuncturist who said that virtually all my problems result from my bad posture. Since then, I’ve been working on my posture including re-establishing the lumbar curve. I train The Foundation training set of exercises to get my posture better. And after my lumbar spine appeared to be unfreezed to some degree, I decided I could go ahead and train the pelvic tuck.

    In short, my understanding is like this. If somebody has a chronic condition with pelvis tucked forward, they first should re-establish the natural curve of the lumbar spine, and only after that proceed to the taiji pelvic tuck.

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