In the basic posture, all joints are slightly bent. This supports an optimal supply of the extremities. We stay in our basic posture over the whole course of the form. The posture is best described referring to its arches.
Arches in the legs
In the basic posture, one „sits“, which means one stands relaxed, but active. The weight is in the middle of the foot. The best way to get into the basic posture is to prepare oneself to jump, but then one simply straightens up one‘s upper body, while the status of the legs remains to same (not jumping, but still ready to jump). In the beginning, this may be demanding for the leg muscles, as those now take over the task of carrying and holding the upper body increasingly by themselves. Thereby, the joints and the postural muscles of the upper body are freed of this task. A bit of aching of the thighs indicates this (for the body still unusual) muscular activity. This „feedback“ is desired, but one should not overdo searching for it.
Arches in the arms
The arms are also fluffy and rounded. They do not dangle lifelessly down the sides of the body, but maintain a basic tension. A tennis ball should fit between the ribcage and the upper arm.
The shoulders build an arch as well. If the position of the elbows is too much backwards, the arms are „offline“, which means they deviate from the curved line. These kinds of postures are not suitable for power transmission and therefore do not form part of the Tai Chi movements.
Video “basic posture”
Author: Nils Klug
Images: Nils Klug