Working with gravity
Our life on earth is greatly influenced by gravity. We do not float around in space – instead, we have to “pick ourselves up” before going somewhere. No matter how and where we want to move, the ground – the earth – is our first point of reference. This is also true in the figurative sense. Sometimes, experiences “drag us down”, some other times, we feel like on cloud nine. – It somehow seems to depend on the right measure. So, let’s start to get acquainted with the effect of gravity on our body!
Practising Grounding – Practical hints
Our point of contact with the earth are our feet, or – to be more precise – the soles of our feet. Therefore, we guide our attention toward the soles of our feet. Now, our body is one entity: From head to toe. In the weighted foot (or in the weighted feet, when our body weight is 50/50) we want to feel our body weight.
During preparation, we let go internally (grounding). We feel a rising pressure in the feet. While activating, we continue our grounding. The pressure in the foot should not drop; it rather rises a bit more.
Fine-tuning: Whenever you get the feeling that you are pulled to the ground, you exaggerated too much. Emphasising the arms and hands a bit more may help. If the exercise is just floating along, you are probably not serious enough. You should feel a considerable strain in your feet.
A note on “grounding” and “rooting”
A related standard term in Tai Chi theory is “rooting”. This term is not used here, for two main reasons: (1) We do not grow roots out of our feet into the earth. Instead, we work on giving our movements on earth a stable base. (2) “Uprooting” as it is regularly used to describe actions in partner exercises refers to disrupting the connection to the ground (as in “grounding”), not the ripping out of some root system (as in “rooting”).
Profile: Tai Chi Aspect – Grounding
- Difficulty: easy
- Goal: increased permeability
- Method: feeling gravity as pressure in the foot
- Element: Earth
- Related Tai Chi Aspects: Digging