The root is at the feet. Jing is generated by the legs, controlled by the waist and expressed by the fingers. From the feet to the legs to the waist must be one unified Chi. When moving forward or backward, you can the catch the opportunity and gain the superior position.
The waist and the spine are the first master
The throat is the second master
The heart (mind) is the third master
The Dan Tien is the first chancellor
The fingers and the palms are the second chancellor
The foot and the sole are the third chancellor
The Chi is like a cart-wheel, the waist is like an axle
As I was practicing my Tai Chi Form, I was struck with the simplistic directness of these truths about tai chi. Chi is power, learning to direct it is the task. Grounding is key as it is the root. It is from the stable root that chi, which is directed from the waist, can be extended through the palms and the fingers.
The accumulation and extension of chi is quite an undertaking. It does require an inquisitive and exploring mind, as well as a desire to develop feeling and sensitivity.
My instructor gave me some guidelines one day. I had been practicing my form in such a way that I was attempting to improperly establish my root. I was doing such that I was using my muscles to sink my dan tien. I was instructed to raise up and not worry about sinking down so much (in a muscular fashion). He also said that I should make my movements smaller. These simple instructions have helped me ‘begin’ to more fully sense how chi can be accumulated and emitted.
The waist truly is the axle from which the chi is extended. In one direction, you root chi deep into the ground through your feet. In the other direction, you project it out through your wrists and your fingertips; this is coordination. The mind and heart must be relaxed and focused in order for the chi to be coordinated thusly
Always flowing, no inconsistency, always feeling, no hesitation . . . this is the beginning of grasping tai chi.
I hope that your practice goes well.