Starting form is the beginning of the Taich form, it sets the speed, the height and the spirit for the whole practice. Starting form is born from Wuji standing post, it is designed to improve the harmonies among sprit movement, qi movement, and body movement.
Regardless practicing Taichi complete form or single set, always go through Wuji post and Starting form in order to reach the smooth even breathing, concentration, as well whole body relaxation. If the beginner have difficult to reach this state, he should repeatedly perform Wuji post and Starting form until comfortably relaxed.
The detail moves and spirit
Wuji post does not have any physical move or outer move, but Starting form and other forms after preparation are all have body moves that are led by the spirit. So, from this form forward, the body move and sprit must be mentioned at the same time.
Qi here is not your breathing, it is inner Qi – energy inside of your body. Move the qi with the spirit is called Moving Qi. Breathing includes inspiration and expiration. In Chinse, ‘Xi’ is equivalent to ‘Breathing’, one inhale and one exhale is one Xi.
Starting form is the continuation of Wuji preparation, it has two moves:
Lift hands and push palms down.
(1) Lift hands
Two palms face to back, naturally drop the fingers, relax the wrists and hands, while inhale slowly lift the two hands forward and palm face down until to shoulder height.
Pay attention to your feeling about Qi, Once it reaches the height, exhale and straightening your palm to point the fingers to the front.
(2) Push palms down
2nd inhale, your spirit is at your: Finger – Palm – Wrist - Elbow – Shoulder, end of inhale.
Exhale, spirit from shoulder to chest; push two palms downward slowly with keening down move, spirit from chest to Dan Tian region. At the end of exhale, two palms are at about the waist height, palm face down, sink the wrist, fingers point to the front. Spirit focus to Dan Tian. The body is alert, relaxed, use the spirit to lead the move, no force should be applied, one part moves, every part moves, inside and outside are connected.
Connection between inside and outside means open and close matches breathing inhale and exhale.
Push palms down, knee down should be done at the same time. Beginners should practice 1, and 2 repeatedly. During this practice (more than 20 times), most students will feel early stage of Qi.
Do it slowly, once exhale starts, pushing palm down and bending the knee, continue until palms reach to your height of waist and that is your end of exhale too.
Use your sprit to lead the move. Elbow should drop, no force up, shoulder is complete relaxed.
Your speed is controlled by the speed of breathing, so make that nature, do not stretch it to the level you don’t feel comfortable, with your practice, the breathing will improve.
Beginners do not need to too focus on the connection of Breathing and moves, with long time practice, it will come. To enforce it, will harm your body!