Yin-Yang Learning

taiji tu

The taiji symbol of yin-yang, light becomes dark and darkness becomes light. Taiji movement expresses these relationships.


A tai chi learning progression

Learning the simplest things in tai chi can be a challenge, not because they are difficult; but, because we’re unfamiliar with them at first. Tai chi is like that. Life is like that. For example, sometimes new learners grasp the details of simple cloud hands with great effort. Or remembering to maintain a proper stance while moving the upper body takes reminding ourselves over and over. With practice though, we gradually build familiarity with the moves, then we become more comfortable, then we can refine what we’ve learned. Every successive move is a refinement of the last one. Over time, with practice and continued focus, we improve at the learning process itself. We are able to sustain concentration longer and with more depth. We look forward to new information so that we can practice learning skills that the moves themselves teach us.

Tai Chi poem

I have learned attachment,
now I learn detachment.
Attachment is a not letting go,
detachment goes against the grain.
Yin and yang principle resolves this conflict …
yin becoming yang,
yang becoming yin in a spiraling flow of movement.
This is the principle of opposite,
yet complementary forces.
Yin/yang is part of a single force.
This is taiji.
It is not a static concept, but an evolving notion.
We evolve when we ponder it.