It is has happened a number of times when I have been practicing a difficult move, getting it half right, but not "feeling" right. Then it happens. It just works.
It happened today. I was in the back yard with the pugs. Nice sunny day, enjoying a cold drink. I was not really thinking about anything in particular and it came to me.
One of the first things in tai chi is to learn is how to walk. Seems simple enough. I've been doing it since about 12 months old. But, tai chi walking is different. It is conscious. It follows the same principle of substantial/insubstantial as all else. My tai chi walking just didn't feel right. It was nearly there, but not quite.
"Front leg toes point forward," popped into my head. It all suddenly just made sense. Walking is in the bow stance. To walk forward weight is first placed on the rear leg, toes about 45 degree away from the body. With weight there front toes swivel outward, about 45 degrees from front. Waist turns toward toe, weight shifts to front leg. Rear leg comes forward, past the ankle of front leg, and lands heel first, toes pointing straight., weight shifts to front leg (actually about 70% front, 30% rear). Bow stance to bow stance! Solid, rooted, stable.
I'm sure I must have read that over and over again in different books and seen it demonstrated and described. I just didn't get it. Got it now. (I think!)