Baby steps

C588A2DE-8E0A-4BD9-9E2A-B17960199437We tend to look at our children’s first steps as a right of passage and as a source of pride. The youngster in the clip below demonstrates what practitioners of taiji strive for: the delight, the suppleness, and a looseness in the hips (what the taiji classics call the waist) that is usually lost as walking becomes habitual. This locked hip condition can be especially acute if early attempts at standing take place in a baby walker or if they are simply moves to escape a playpen. Children who rarely touch the floor owing to parents who worry about germs are especially at risk. Therapy for locked hips in adults requires nothing more expensive than spending time on the floor, though it can be sped up by a visit to a good physical therapist.

(With gratitude to Michael Winn at

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