Tai Chi Balance 5 Yin 5 Yang
Tai Chi is defined as the balance of 5 Yin and 5 Yang. It can be explained by the following:
10 Yang 0 Yin
When you begin to learn tai chi, you are 10 parts yang and 0 parts yin. This means that your body is very hard, stiff, rigid. This is the starting point from which you will develop a “tai chi body” through daily training.
9 Yang 1 Yin
After a short time of regular practice under the guidance of a highly qualified teacher, you will begin to learn and feel how to relax more and become aware of accumulated tension in your body, and how to intentionally (consciously) let go (“fangsong”) of some of this lifetime tension and hardness. This is the stage in practice known as 9 parts yang and 1 part yin. Already you are feeling better, and you will have more energy, can focus better, and feel less tired all the time.
8 Yang 2 Yin
When some more time passes and you continue to practice daily, and with an understanding of the principles that govern your correct practice, you will acquire an ability to get softer in your movement, and you will feel less stiff and rigid. This is the stage of practice called 8 parts yang and 2 parts yin.
7 Yang 3 Yin
Under the guidance of a masterful teacher, and with a deeper level of practice, you will continue to develop your tai chi skills, and become more relaxed and fluid in your postures and movements – this is the level of skill referred to as 7 parts yang and 3 parts yin. At this stage you will feel quite comfortable with your body and movement.
6 Yang 4 yin
Now several years may have passed, and with continued dedicated practice, you become much more balanced than when you first began learning tai chi. This level is called 6 parts yang and 4 parts yin. At this point, you will have reached quite a high level of achievement, and your form seems almost effortless, and your tuishou (push hands – tai chi partner training to develop self defense skill and test your form) is at quite a high level, and you are successful at neutralizing force and disposing of your partner quite easily.
5 Yang 5 Yin
After many years of dedicated daily practice with full intention, you may progress to the highest possible level of skill and understanding in tai chi: 5 parts yang and 5 parts yin.
In the history of tai chi, not many people reach this level of skill, but it is attainable! Most bona fide masters of tai chi will humbly admit that they still have more to learn, and continue to practice daily with an understanding that tai chi is a lifetime study, and each day one can continue to acquire more skill and understanding!
You must remember that when we speak about releasing, or “letting go” of tension that you may have acquired over your whole lifetime, it is more complicated than simply releasing the physical areas of this tension. We are here speaking about emotional blockages that may stem from abuse in childhood. These situations from early life can be the root cause of the blockages in your body, and sometimes go undetected or are not addressed, possibly you may not even remember or realize these life events.
But the good news is, through the progressive tai chi training over the years, when we learn how to let go of the energetic blockages (ie tension), the emotional blockages are released too, as they can not be separated from the whole.
This article is intended to inspire you to always strive to achieve the highest potential skill in your art. And is written with wishes and hope that you awake each day with a refreshed and renewed inspiration to practice more diligently.
It is up to you to weed out any and all false ego and approach your tai chi training with the mindset of a beginner, and that each day you learn more. Of course, realize the road you have already traveled, and acknowledge how far you have come on this journey… but always keep your eyes, mind, and heart open to discover the wonders of our subtle, wonderful art of tai chi that we love and cherish!