Daoist anatomy: yāo (the waist)

yāo (the waist)

yāo differs somehat in its anatomical meaning from the English word waist. In English we think of the waist as the waistline – that is, the outer periphery of the midriff region. The term yāo, however, is more precisely understood as the small of the back, or the lumbar spine and and muscles and tissues that extend out from and surround the lumbar verterbrae. This includes the lower abdomen as a physical centre of gravity, but the emphasis is on the proximal, or central point. It is very importnat in Taijiquan to have in mind that this is what is meant when we speak of the waist
– Louis Swaim, translator,  in his introduction to Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan by Fu Zhongwen. ISBN: 1583941525. pxv

Zhendic has 腰 部 yāo bù: waist; small of the back.

This explanation clarifies the statement in the Tai Chi classics:

The qi is rooted in the feet
Propelled by the legs
Steered by the waist
And issues from the hands

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~ by scalambra on August 3, 2009.

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