I often tell my students to be "effort-less" not "effort-ful!" A principle of Tai Chi is to relax. Relaxing, however, is not something we can easily turn on or off. I don't know about you, but if someone says, "Just relax!", my response is to do just the opposite! So how do we relax when engaged in the movements of Tai Chi and/or Qigong?
The word "song" in Chinese, means "relax." However, it is not the same connotation that we Westerners assign to "relax." It is a letting go, but not so much that we lose our structure, or become flaccid. To song is to open and loosen the joints.
When we open the joints, we do several things. 1. We place our awareness elsewhere, away from trying to relax. This is key to achieving a relaxed state. 2. When we mentally open our joints, the fascia, tendons, ligaments, muscle spindles and even cells, all respond physiologically by letting go without reducing or losing the structure of our self; of our posture. When we let go in this manner, the Qi can flow.
When we are able to effectively song our joints, it is like opening the flood gates to Qi flow. Have you ever had a kinked a hose and felt the water backing up? And then when you open the kink.....WHOOSH....the water flows! When you song your joints.....WHOOSH.....the Qi can flow! We song our joints to get those kinks out.
This video takes you through a fun and simple exercise of song-ing the joints in your hand. You will be blown away...I promise.
Give it a go and let your Qi flow!