The fundamental fact of us all – more fundamental than the air we breathe, the food we eat – is gravity: the fact that we are fashioned from matter, and so are tugged at by heavy objects, in particular the Earth. The gravitational field of the Earth pulls us directly downward upon its surface, and this surface – the ground – kicks up into us, equal and opposite to gravity itself. We call this upward force thymos because, if the spine is strong, healthy and erect, a steady stream of energy flows up through the body to gather naturally in the thymus gland in the upper chest. In its simplest form Taiji is a sequence of movements designed to distribute this thymic energy through the upper body and into the Other, using mainly turning actions from the core (belly/lumber spine).

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