Taijiquan Beginning

太極拳 太极拳 起势 气沉丹田 含胸拔背 虚领顶劲
Taijiquan Beginning 1

Beginning (起勢) is the first movement when playing the simplified 24-form taijiquan (太極拳). First of all I should say that it is not a fighting technique.

Placing internal energy (気) in the body center, letting the back free, making the mind (意) to penetrate to the head top, which help you to become united with the surrounding space.  Stretch your fingertips downwards and inject internal energy (気) into your fingertips. See the top photo. 

Then, without using the muscular strength of the arm, slowly raise your both hands. See the below photo.

With diaphragmatic breathing, raise your hands with inhaling, and go down your hands slowly while exhaling. Breathing is done with consciousness in the beginning postures. However, after that, it is important that breathing enters under autonomic nervous system control and it will be done unconsciously.

The beginning movement is a ceremony in order to shift the mind (意) into the top gear with the body relaxed.

This creates a sense of unity and harmony with the surrounding space, allowing you to put the space on your side.

If it just somehow begun and ends up, you may not get a sense of accomplishment.

The beginning (起勢) is so important preparation to start.

太極拳 起勢 太极拳 起势
Taijiquan Beginning 2