Taiji Tai Chi

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How do you do the splits in Chen style Taiji (Tai Chi)?

I am having some trouble sliding into the splits after my lotus (crescent kick). Once I go all the way down, I feel some strain on my right knee, the one that stays bent. The strain does not bother me, but I do feel a little bit of soreness later. How do you do this move with less strain on your knee?

FYI, I'm 18 and have very healthy legs. So I know the problem is not my body; I am doing something wrong.

Picture

This is in the Yi Lu section, (Bai Jiao Die Cha) "Swing Foot Drop Down."

CTC has made some very good points. Also, be sure that you are not placing any weight on the inside of the bent knee. The weight should be on the feet with all nine points touching the ground - this is part of rooting. Maintain knee-toe alignment when lowering into the stance and when you are rising up from it. Don't press the knee to the floor to rise up. From the split stance posture, raise the knee first, plant the right foot on the floor, bring your center of gravity over an imaginary line between your two heels(use your glutes and the hamstrings on you left leg), and then push up from there. This requires more hip flexibility and coordination. Be sure you can perform the crouching stance with ease before attempting the split stance. It's difficult to explain in words with no pictures. Good luck.

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