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  • James Lusk

Postures vs. Gestures


When doing the Tai Chi form, any Tai Chi form, many teachers refer to the individual movement of the form as postures. They tend to go from student to student correcting the final posture of the movement. I believe this makes the form very static and over-emphasizes the position where one has arrived.

To refer to a Tai Chi movement like “Part the Horse’s Mane” as a posture implies that it is not a movement at all, but a static position. Whereas, the whole gesture of parting the horse’s mane is important, not just the end result where one might connect with another person in warding off.

If one wants to consider this move in terms of a posture, then one should either be talking about one’s over all posture while performing Tai Chi (spine relaxed down and head floating in air, etc) or emphasizing the magnitude of the gesture and where one wants to end in order for it to be martially effective.

Posture and body alignment can be practiced during a standing meditation. Practicing martial applications through push hands can indicate where and when one makes contact with a partner’s body.

Playing the Tai Chi form, one should be concentrating on being self-aware of the subtle changes within the body as you pass through the gesture. Moving slowly, staying relaxed, becoming aware of the inner workings of the movement facilitates the development of internal power. The movements or gestures are then fluid, balanced and express a deep coordinated strength. The way unfolds as you begin to move...





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