T’ai Chi Ruler for Correcting Qi Deviations

For a simple way of beginning a qigong practice, you can do the simple movements of T’ai Chi ruler as shown in this video.  There are complicated variations, but the basics are shown in this video.

I will give you some advice on alignments and movements as well, that will supplement that information.  I recommend using it at the end of the day or whenever you feel out of wack.  It helps flush you out negative energies, balance and recharge.  I feel re-calibrated after doing the exercise.

One principle of all qigong and T’ai chi is to have an erect, but not stiff, spine.  Part of that postural rule is to allow the tailbone to drop, relaxing it downward.  Stand for a few moments before doing the ruler and allow that to occur, don’t force it.  Keeping an erect spine also applies to forward and backward movements – don’t lean into forward movements.  The movements should come from the waist, or the lower dantien.  The lower dantien is the energetic and physical center of origin of all qigong and T’ai chi movement forms.

The advice for the foot positions is fine, except that with practice, you can use a stance where the forward foot can be placed further forward.  When moving forward, don’t allow the forward knee to go past the toes.  And make sure that the knee is positioned so it moves over the foot, not to one side or the other.  This alignment is very important.

Various schools and teachers of qigong differ as to whether the back foot should move.  In the video, the heel of the back foot moves up when the weight is transferred to the front foot.  If you want, you can keep the back foot planted.  The forward foot goes from heel to toes and back.

You can see that T’ai chi ruler can be practiced with the ruler (chih) and without it.  The ends of the ruler are positioned in the center of the palm over the lao gong points.  If you don’t use the ruler, make sure that your lao gong points align and don’t angle away (as I see in the video).  Relax the elbows downward and relax your shoulders while you are performing the movement.

The movement of the ruler should be circular.  The direction can be changed.  Tracing the circle up and away from the body helps bring qi and increased energy and blood circulation in the upper torso, arms and head.   Tracing the circle down, out and then in towards the torso benefits the lower part of the body, legs and feet.  Movement down, out and towards the torso helps remove blockages, while the other method promotes the increase of energy.  Go in both directions to clean and recharge.

Keep breathing abdominally.  If you need a few moments before doing the exercise, stand for a few minutes in the wu ji posture and let the breathing become regular and drop to the lower dantien.

Practice for 5 to 10 minutes on each side of the body.  At the finish, place the palms of the hand over the lower dantien (right hand below left hand, or vice versa for men) and let the energy settle there for a few moments.

Okay, now that you mentally know these guideline, practice to develop your internal, corporeal knowledge!

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About admin

Practitioner of Qigong and T'ai Chi in the water tradition of Lao Tse since 1995. See my blog entry on asthma to understand my healing journey.
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