Further to the previous blog…
“Song Yao” = Release the waist (see previous blog on ‘Song’).
“Kai Kua” = Open the Kua, or inguinal region on the front of the pelvis.
‘Yao’ in this case refers specifically to the back of the waist (exactly as in the previous blog).
’Kua’ refers to the area on each side of the hips where the legs join the pelvis at the front of the body – the ‘Inguinal Groove’. To feel it, do a semi-squat (it doesn’t have to be very deep), and then open your knees sideways.
Open the knees (or Kua).
The under-rotation of the pelvis cannot work very effectively without the Kua opening. This is easy to feel if you try the opposite… Try tucking the tip of your tailbone (coccyx) further under, but simultaneously squeeze your knees together.
Once you’ve felt how awkward that is, you know to consciously open the knees gently as you release the back (Song Yao), tucking under as a result, – although it’s better to think of it as the Kua, rather than the knees, opening.
Avoiding ‘collapsing knee’ syndrome.
This means that whether you are in a Bow stance (with the weight on the forward leg as in the photos), or sitting back on to your rear leg (Empty stance), you need to ensure that the Kua opens. In a Bow stance it will be the Kua on the back leg in particular, and in the Empty stance, it will be the Kua on the front leg.
This avoids the collapsing knee syndrome (as in the photo on the right) that is so common amongst beginners practising tai chi and qigong.
Whatever posture you’re in…
… when you pelvic tilt (Song Yao), always release the front of the pelvis (Kai Kua).
James Drewe teaches Taijiquan and Qigong in both London and in Kent. Details of weekly classes can be found on the website, and there are classes for 2-person Taijiquan one Saturday a month.
Phone: 07836-710281 or 020-8883 3308