The Tai Chi classics say:
Suspend the crown of the head
Sink the chest and raise the back
Loosen the waist

But how do we do this? Here are 5 tips that will prove invaluable to anyone working with the internal system.

Find your feet - take your mind down to your feet, feel the whole surface of the sole of the foot against the floor, feel how the ball of the foot activates the front of the legs (quadriceps), the sides up the side of the legs (IT band and femoral triangle) and the heel the back of the legs (hamstrings) feel the arch of the foot fill with energy. The press down on the foot presses the body upwards until you are standing straight and as tall as you can.

Soften and connect down the core - whilst remaining erect, connecting the the sides of the head, down through throat and neck the chest, around the lungs and heart, diaphragm, deep waist, insides of the legs, around the knees, down the calves and into the arches of the feet.

Unlock the joints upwards - whilst remaining erect and softened, unlock the ankles, knees, hips, spine and shoulders.

Let your body find your breathing rate - breathe through your nose from your stomach and back and allow your body to determine when and how to breathe in and out, this will slow down your breathing rate and make it more natural and deeper. Remember to put the tip of the tongue to the top palette.

Activate your pumps - when you decide to move direct your bodyweight through the rear of the arch of the foot to activate the first pump, the release in the lower back and bowing of the spine will activate the second, the sinking of the chest and opening between the shoulder blades will activate the third and the raising of the crown of the head ‘as if suspended from above’ will open the fourth at the base of the skull (occipital region at atlas).

Now all you have to do is to keep this going all of the time – and not just when you’re practicing Tai Chi!