Let’s look at the first steps on the Yang side of your Push Hands skills!
While in philosophical terms Yang is linked to a variety of abstract association like heat, hardness and strength or natural phenomena like fire and light, in Push Hands, the Yang aspect is best described as the structural aspect of Push Hands.
For the beginner, the central question is hence this: How to build my structure?
The easiest – and most communicative – way of building structure is to begin with partner exercises. Working with a partner provides you with impulses that give you information about your status and allows you to „autocorrect“.
If you already learned a form, you can pick every posture you like and let your partner apply pressure pointing towards your root. Use hands and arms as contact points, but also torso and back to see if your structure is stable in all directions. Can you take the pressure easily? If all goes well, you should feel the pressure increasing in your feet.
If you did not (yet) learn a form, you can pick any other posture which is coherent with the Taiji basic posture, like e.g. postures from your Zhan Zhuang meditation („standing like a pillar“ / „standing like a tree“ or however it is called in your standing meditation practice).
What if it does not feel right? – E.g. if the pressure starts building up at a certain point or you get unaligned?
Tell your partner to stop and begin again. This time, work with less pressure.
Under less pressure, check first if your are sitting right – you can always sit down a little bit more.
Secondly, check whether there is enough space under your armpits to let the pressure travel though your torso to your base.
Don’t forget to change roles and partners!
Are you still unsure about how to start? Come to one of our autumn workshops or join us for the 22nd International Push Hands Meeting in February 2023! Beginners welcome!