Qigong/tai chi quotations

For all [to practice] this Way:
You must coil, you must contract,
You must uncoil, you must expand,
You must be firm, you must be regular [in this practice].
Hold fast to this excellent [practice]; do not let go of it.
Nei Ye (Inner Training) 4th century BCE

Moving, be like water, still be like a mirror.
Zhuangzi, 3rd century BCE

“In all the world nothing is more pliant than water.
And yet it has no equal in resiliency against that which is hard.
It cannot be changed by anything.
That which is weak conquers that which is strong; that which is soft conquers that which is hard.”
Daodejing, 4th century BCE

“Once set in motion, the whole body is unified and must be light and filled with Spirit.”
Tai Chi Ch’uan Classic, 12th – 14th centuries BCE

“When your body is not aligned,
The inner power will not come.
When you are not tranquil within,
Your mind will not be well ordered.
Align your body, assist the inner power,
Then it will gradually come on its own.”
Nei ye, Inner Training, 4th century BCE

“The yang energy in people is firm; firmness without restraint turns into aggressiveness, like fire rising. Yin energy is flexible; flexibility without support becomes too weak, like water descending.”
Liu I-ming, 18th century

“Moving, be like water,
Still, be like a mirror”.
Zhuangzi, 3rd century BCE

“Flowing waters do not stagnate and door hinges do not get mole crickets, because they move. The qi and bodily frame are also like this. If the bodily frame does not move, the vital essence does not circulate; and if it does not circulate, the qi will coagulate.”
The Annals of Lu Buwei, 3rd century BCE

“As a general rule, humans have 360 joints, nine apertures, five repositories, and six storehouses. It is desirable that the skin be taut, the blood vessels open to free circulation, the sinews and bones hard, the mind and will harmonious, and the qi active. If all this is achieved, illness will find no place to lodge, and evil no means to grow. Illness remains and its malevolence grows because the qi are blocked. When water is blocked, it becomes stagnant; when a tree is blocked, it becomes infested with wood-boring insects; when a plant is blocked, it withers.”
The Annals of Lu Buwei, 3rd century BCE

“Human beings in life are soft and weak, in death are always stretched, stiff, and rigid.
The myriad things, grass and plants, in life are soft and pliant, in death are withered and dry.
Therefore it is said, ‘Stiffness and rigidity are indicators of death;
Softness, weakness, are indicators of life’.
Daodejing, 4th century BCE

‘ … the perfected breathe all the way to their heels, unlike ordinary folk who breathe only as far as their throats.’
Zhuangzi, 3rd century BCE

“In the human body above and below depend on each other, rise and fall change rhythmically.”
Sima Chengzhen 647-735

“You must be firm, you must be regular [in this practice].
Hold fast to this excellent [practice]; do not let go of it”.
Nei ye, Inner Training, 4th century BCE