Classic writings on tai chi tell us to relax and move from the waist. But most people don’t interpret “the waist” properly from the Chinese. This will mess up your tai chi! The tai chi waist, or “yao” refers to a very large area of the body – the lower transverse section of the abdomen. It encompasses the dantian (center of qi and center of gravity) as well as the spine.
The inside of the waist area is the dantian – it’s like the axle. Turning horizontally from a relaxed waist should make you feel like your legs and feet are like screws drilling into the floor, but not torquing the knees.
Now that you know what is meant by “the waist” and how to move from it in tai chi moves, you will gain much more power, structural integrity, peng solidity, and of course, qi flow.