Updated: Feb 9, 2021
By Joe Eber
Let's talk about stepping. In everyday life walking is the act of pushing yourself off the back foot and falling into the front foot. In taiji it is the reverse. You pull with your front foot and sink into your back foot.
We do not push off our back foot. Why? When you do, you're actually going against gravity and lifting your self out of your root. Your breathing becomes shallower, and you limit your expansion. Try it for yourself to see what you feel.
Most people only think of their front foot as the weight goes to that leg, disregarding the rear leg. What about the rear foot? It doesn't just hang out there going along for the ride. It is actually sinking into the ground. As you move forward, feel your tailbone going deep into the floor along with your rear leg. Again, don't take my word for it. Try it. Shift your weight forward and disregard your back leg. Have someone pull on your front hand. It is easy to pull you. Now sink the back leg and have some one pull you. It is much harder to pull you because you are rooted in both legs.