tai chi stepping

Tai Chi Stepping

About four years ago, while driving 55 mph on the Southern State Parkway on Long Island NY, I smelled rubber burning and felt my car shake violently. I realized I had a tire blowout. I pulled over to the shoulder of the road to change my tire. As I removed the car jack from my trunk, I remember thinking wow, this car jack is small. I proceeded to jack my car up to change my tire. The jack base started to sink into the ground. I drove my car forward a few feet. Still, I had the same result. I tried it again, and it worked, then the car jack toppled forward and fell. Luckily I hadn't removed the tire!

Soon a police officer appeared, loaned me a better jack and gave me a wide piece of wood to use as a solid base for the jack. The wooden platform worked. I was able to change my flat tire and was on my way.

While driving to my destination, I remember thinking, It is vital to find stable ground when changing a flat tire.

Stepping in Tai Chi

When taking a step in Tai Chi, my teacher would say, place your foot on the ground like you are covering a baby with a blanket. You do so very gently. Place your foot on the floor like you are about to step on imaginary ice. You first feel and connect to the earth, then use your imagination to fill your body from under your weighted foot. The energy comes into your body from the bubbling well. The bubbling well is located on the bottom of your foot just behind the ball. Use your imagination and breath to guide the energy up your leg to fill the rest of your body. Do not let your body weight come from above because you will crack the imaginary ice. You have to sneakily fill your body from below so you do not crack the ice.

After your body has become full, expand and allow the energy to pass up through you into infinity. Then relax and follow the relaxation down the weighted leg to be released into the earth. All while turning your waist, this will allow the momentum to cause your non-weighted foot to step.

When stepping, use your heel to find foot placement. Your heel should touch the floor first. Feel the ground with your foot. Ask yourself, Do I have a good base? If so, borrow the power from the ground. Allow the energy from the earth to travel up through your leg, direct it with your waist and allow it to flow through your hands. The only way to do so is with correct Tai Chi alignment.

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