Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Weighted Pivot

In my practice recently, I have been focusing on distributing my weight across my entire foot - while still simultaneously keeping the weight centered in the middle of the foot - which allows me to be more stable. Applying this to the form has meant that I have had to become more aware of the weight transfer as I transition from one posture to the next and allowing that weight to settle into the entire foot.

Where I have found this to be particularly challenging is with weighted pivots. For example, in the first part of the form, when transitioning from 'brush left thigh and press forth right palm' to 'brush right thigh and press forth left palm', you start by pivoting on the left (front) foot.

To do this as a weighted pivot, you first shift the weight in your left foot back to the heel and then twist to the left, pivoting the left foot on the heel and keeping energy in the right foot so that you remain balanced. The net result is that the pivot opens up both hips.

My problem is that, with my weight initially spread across the entire left foot, in order to shift my weight to the heel, I have had to shift my entire body weight back - essentially doing an unweighted pivot. After talking it over with Mike, it turns out that you actually can do this without shifting your weight back - how you do it is during the initial twist to the left, you let your left hip close, which allow you to shift the weight in your left foot to your heel without shifting the rest of your body.

This is an important point because its a manifestation of what we are training in both the form and push-hands - explicitly how the joints work together so that you can redirect your energy/weight where you want it.

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