10 Essential Principles


1. Lift the head to raise the spirit

The head and neck are held straight and erect, as if something is lifting and pulling up on your head to keep you in upright posture.

2. Sink the shoulders and elbows

The shoulders are relaxed and kept downward. The elbows are bent slightly and also sink downward. The wrists are slightly bent with palms extended forward, with no tension.

3. Loosen the chest and round the back

The chest is relaxed. In addition, the back and spine are kept in straight alignment, with the tailbone and hips gently tucked in.

4. Loosen the waist, line up the lower back, relax the Kua

The waist and hips are kept loose and relaxed. This allows the movement of the upper and lower body and the shifting of your weight to be more coordinated with the turning of the waist.

5. Understand the weight changes in the legs

You must know where your weight is when shifting from one foot to the other. If your body weight is on the right leg, then the right leg is solid and the left leg is empty. And visa versa. This allows you to be smoother and more agile as you move.

6. Co-ordinate upper and lower body

The upper and lower body move together as one unit. In addition, you should coordinate the movements of the body with the shifting of the weight.

7. Continuity in movement

Postures are performed slowly, evenly, with no interruptions as you move from one posture to another.

8. Unite internal intent and what the body is doing

Stretch out all the muscles in your arms, legs and torso. Furthermore, keep in mind the martial meaning within the posture. Consciously coordinate mind and movements.

9. Use mind not force

Use your mind to relax, direct or control the movements. When the mind is calm and tranquil the movements are relaxed and more graceful. Expand and stretch out your body as you move through the postures.

10. Experience stillness in motion and motion in stillness

When practising, the mind should be calm, yet alert and concentrated on the movements. This creates tranquillity; a state of quiet awareness.