Showing posts from September, 2021

What's in a name? The importance of understanding imagery in Tai Chi & Qigong

  Names and understanding The use of poetic and functional names in Tai Chi and Qigong can be difficult to decipher or simplistically obvious. When we first hear some of the names of the postures, it can be amusing and confusing: ‘ part wild horse’s mane’, ‘ twin dragons emerge from the sea ’ and ‘ stand like a tree .’ What we need to appreciate is that these names are translations from the original Chinese. So, with as with any translation, things can be lost in the process. Much of the knowledge of tai chi and qigong was traditionally encoded in poetic form or as a song. Many of the students would not have been literate, so the names aided in the memorising of the sequence and its applications. Additionally cultural and philosophical differences, along with the inherent secrecy of martial arts culture, could lead you to misunderstandings and getting the wrong end of the stick. However, when we hear these names, we instantly get a picture or concept in our mind. Combining this