One of the first lessons I learned as a beginning Tai Chi Chuan student twenty years ago was to “tuck under” to flatten the back. I hope this isn’t still being taught because twenty years of “tucking under” ingrained a muscular habit that I had to unlearn when I began seriously practicing Zhan Zhuang. What I’m calling lower back arch, drop and tuck are also known as pelvic anterior tilt, neutral, and posterior tilt. …
I, too was first introduced to this concept of “tucking” the lower back/pelvis area. I am still working on trying to understand and feel the difference between drop and tuck. When I paid a visit to Rick of Wujifa, I realized I still had a long way to go in this journey, as I was still tucking.
It’s easier to tuck and think one is straightening/elongating/stretching the lower back. To me, there is a psychological underlying component where one feels comfort in holding excess tension. When I think of this, I am reminded of the scene in Jet Li’s Twin Warriors where he sees an image of a praying mantis standing on a leaf and is reminded to “lighten the load” and move on. Only then, can he break on through to the other side.
For more on the discussion with videos for clarification points, click through the link above.