The song of the thirteen postures (Taiji classic)
The Thirteen Postures should not be taken lightly;
the source of the postures is in the waist.
Be mindful of the interchange between insubstantial and substantial;
The ch’i circulates throughout the body without hindrance.
Be still, when attacked by the opponent,
be tranquil and move in stillness;
changes caused by my opponent fill him with wonder.
Study the function of each posture carefully and with deliberation;
to achieve the goal is very easy.
Pay attention to the waist at all times;
completely relax the abdomen and the ch’i rises up.
When the tailbone is centered and straight,
the shen [spirit of vitality] goes through to the headtop.
To make the whole body light and agile
suspend the headtop.
Extension and contraction, opening and closing, should be natural.
To enter the door and be shown the way,
you must be orally taught.
Practice should be uninterrupted,
and technique achieved by self study.
Speaking of the body and its function, what is the standard?
The I [mind-intent] and ch’i are king,
and the bones and muscles are the court.
Think over carefully what the final purpose is:
to lengthen life and maintain youth.
If you do not study in this manner,
then you will waste your time and sigh with regret.