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My Perspective of Balance

by Steve Bodnar , ATCQA Certified Tai Chi Instructor (Level II)

What is Balance?

In teaching my students I have often been challenged - "What do you mean by balance"?

Of course I know what it means to me. I also know from others comments and reading I have interpretations. Maybe my thoughts are biased?  So I looked them up.
1. An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
2. A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions
3. to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall
4. to offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.

Then I thought I might look at things from a scientific perspective: Sir Isaac Newton's third law of physics states: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Photo courtesy of Steve Bodnar

Being human, we are biased by outside influences and abilities. Individuals tend to have different views due to different aspects (experience, upbringing, cultures, and so on) of perception. With an open mind, we can learn from one another and be better able to grasp the true meaning of balance and better way of evolving which could be instrumental to help bringing peace and harmony to people.

Balance means equal in all directions. Balance happens when one is centered. Balance happens for no longer than a moment - that's one I had a hard time understanding. There is no length of time. As soon as the very moment is achieved, Balance changes. Be still, let it change, then balance will be restored.

Natural Adjustment
Restoring balance is the only job of the Nature. The natural force is infinite, constant, everywhere and everlasting. What one can do to cope is to empty oneself mentally so that one can benefit and be balanced. The restoration of balance to our body is "natural adjustment". The adjustment is a process, has a length of time. The whole form of Tai Chi Chuan should be made up of only such adjustments. In the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, one should empty oneself completely, allowing the natural force to balance our body. Simply put, Tai Chi Chuan is Natural Adjustment.

Yin and Yang
Balance is the central equilibrium the earth level that is always maintained, regardless of posture and transitional movement. One can't perfect this without constant flow of Qi and continuous movement fused with the proper balance of Yin and Yang (Water and Fire, metal and wood). You sense and correct these even more so through fast form (working with centrifugal forces). Then, it all becomes restored to natural adjustments. Peace and Harmony!!

It is impossible to talk about Yin or Yang without some reference to the opposite, since Yin and Yang are bound together as parts of a mutual whole (for example, there cannot be a bottom without a top).

For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities. Further, whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full height in summer (fully yang) will produce seeds and die back in winter (fully yin) in an endless cycle.

It should be noted that in one, is the other , They are moving toward each other, become each other, always looking for "Balance" When the body is in perfect balance there is no strain on any part of it.



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