One of the early marketing quotes about Tai Chi is that ‘with the least amount of effort 4 oz can leverage 1000 pounds.’ What they were trying to convey, was that in self-defense even a small person can overcome a large one by applying the leveraging principles of Tai Chi. Tai Chi works with simple dynamics of not meeting force with force, but rather by redirecting it.
Quick-Seat Chair might have just as easily been named the Tai Chi Chair because of these same principles as moving with the ease and lightness of a feather, one can open a Quick-Seat Chair and it will safely hold a range of weight of that of a light weight person up to the weight of that 800 pound gorilla that folks often metaphorically talk about when needing to emphasize the presence of something in the room that needs to be addressed.
And, although a gorilla is too large to fit on the seat of a Quick-Seat Chair, it is true that it can securely hold that much weight, which should make any of us who sit on one, feel pretty secure. But how is this accomplished? Leverage, just like in Tai Chi. The Quick-Seat Chair opens with a gentle light touch, or a graceful tap of the toe both of which are very Tai Chi-like. The Quick-Seat Chair construction allows it to be very sturdy due to the strategic way it is attached to the wall or floor, which in its own way, leverages through perfect balance, the ability to hold much weight. We’d like to share some of the simpler movements of Tai Chi Chuan which can be practiced almost as effortless as opening a Quick-Seat Chair. Remember that Quick-Seat Chair closes all by itself as quietly and effortlessly as doing Tai Chi. But first, we’d love it if you did your own little experiment by taking a facial tissue, lifting it up in the air and then letting it go so that it floats down to the ground. That’s how Tai Chi works and it’s also how Quick-Seat Chair works when opening and closing-as effortlessly.
Of course, we remind you to check with your medical team before attempting any new physical practice.
We invite you to try to perform a simple move called The Small Horse. Standing with your feet flat on the floor and about hips width apart, slightly relax the knees. Let your shoulders and arms relax at your sides, elbows slightly curved. Slowly and lazily begin to raise your arms to about mid-chest level. Now, flexing your wrists move your hands as if you were rolling them over someone’s shoulders and down their back, bringing your hands down in front of your hips and then repeating the motion again. Breathe in slowly as your raise your hands and exhale slowly as you lower them. Never hold your breath. Repeat up to 5 times. Remember to try to feel like that tissue floating on the air. That’s Tai Chi.
Now let’s try a simple balancing and bracing step that I call The Anchor and Brace. It’s great to help with balance and its low impact weight bearing can help to strengthen legs. From the Small Horse, slide your left foot close to your right foot, shifting the weight to your right foot for a moment to balance, then sliding the left foot out in front about a foot and a half, slightly bending your knee so that it is exactly aligned with your ankle and there is a slight stretch to the calf muscle of the right leg. This will be a high lunge position. Hold position for about 3 breaths with your arms and shoulders relaxed, then bring your left foot back and repeat balancing on the right side as you shift your weight before stepping out. Your right foot will already be in place. Repeat 3-5 times.
Quick-Seat Chair. Temporary Seating That Closes Itself
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