Squatting Single Whip, sometimes known as Snake Creeps Down, gives us an exaggeration of what is happening with the hip joints in pretty much any posture. You want your hip joints to feel free to roll. Even if they don’t, then imagine that they do and when you go down, simply go as far as is comfortable. Keep the feeling of maintaining a good alignment in your right vertical axis.
The snake is the feeling in your left arm as it comes back and then creeps downward in a yielding move that brings a feeling of grounding. Feel this posture as a circle that comes back, drops down through the right foot and left hand, then moves forward and up again.
Golden Pheasant really does stand on one leg with this one. It’s all about balance. But remember the all important things here are:
1. don’t be hard on yourself in trying to get your balance – there’s no rush, no balance deadline to meet.
2. find your balance by surrendering into your vertical axis – sky, shoulder, hip, foot, earth.
3. Experience this vertical balance axis as something that you let go into rather than have to ‘hold’.
And if it’s tricky to keep one foot off the ground then allow your toes to keep touching the ground. Then you’ll build your balance surely and steadily.
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The Lower Body and Stand on One Leg (下势独立 Xià shì dúlì) is a posture found in t'ai chi ch'uan...