Cheng Man Ching’s Concept of “swimming in air”


Cheng Man Ching’s Concept of “swimming in air”

This is a short discussion on the value of Song in Taijiquan. Cheng Man Ching spoke about the concept of swimming in air. The atmosphere exerts a pressure of 14.7 pounds per square inch on the surface of the human body. The average human body has 2800 in.² of surface area. if you were to cover your body with 15 pounds of pressure per square inch it would total to over 40,000 pounds of pressure. The reason that the human body does not get crushed under this pressure is because of its own internal pressure. The body’s internal pressure seeks to be in a state of equilibrium with the external pressure of the atmosphere. This pressure will vary depending on whether you are at sea level or on a mountain top. The effect of releasing the body to such a degree of softness that you can start to feel the pressure and resistance of the air around you is quite interesting. As a practitioner softens and seeks The feeling of the resistance, there Chi will out reach towards the surface of the body filling the membranes between the skin muscle and bone. The problem is that most people cannot release anywhere near enough to come close to feeling this exchange. It is important to note that this is not just New Age thinking or chasing butterflies. It is an actual practice with actual results that relies very heavily on you amplifying your awareness and extending your Ting Jin or listening energy. One of the goals in training the art of Taijiquan is to achieve the suppleness of an infant. When your body becomes that soft and released, then “not even a fly can alight without setting you into motion”

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