Question 2: I love how you describe the Song, I use Chinese character a lot when I teach and I found the richness in the characters in Chinese culture add so much value to Taiji/Qigong theory and practice. When you describe the vertical alignment in Song state, which parts of the body are not in the song state?
Answer: All of the body is in song state! Sometimes I even imagine I can see my individual cells being in song!
The vertical alignment of the spine is only one part of Song. One can also imagine a vertical line through each bone (the forearm for instance) which lengthens, but one also must imagine the space between the joints expanding and opening. As the bone lengthens, the joints open, the soft tissue surrounding the bones soften and expand.
When one looks at a balloon, it expands from the inside out, has perfect "alignment"; a center, and expands equally into all sides at once. THAT is song. This roundness, filling and center can occur within individual parts of the body; the hand, the foot, the leg, the torso. Ultimately it should come from the center of the properly aligned body outward in all directions and to all body parts at the same time.
When I feel song, I feel myself lengthen and soften at once. The sensation is sort of like melting, but instead of melting downward into a puddle, I melt into the environment around me and I become bigger but emptier. Then I feel floaty. I also feel my Qi in more palpable terms when I am in this state.
I started understanding and feeling song better once I began practicing seated song and seated meditation. While seated, try moving through your body and mentally creating song in one part of your body, say..your left foot. Then move around your body. Eventually you can song most parts of your body simultaneously through instant mental command. Once you feel this, you can gradually bring it into your standing and moving practice.
copyright @2023 by Susan Thompson, OTR
More excellent Resources for the reader:
Essential Concepts of Tai Chi by Master William Ting
Answers to Common Tai Chi and Qigong Questions by Master William Ting