I think that anyone who has been a U.S. participant in "push hands tournaments" is automatically suspect in terms of real Taiji knowledge
Oh, never mind any real taiji knowledge... I like the way David was trying to tell me some round-eye's interpretation of what 放松 fang4 song1
is... ME.. a native Chinese-speaking Chinese!
FWIW, 放 means to release, to free, to let go... 松 means loose. Together, 放松 means "loosen, relax"... or rather literally, make loose. And yes, if you don't know WTF that means, then none of the traditional admonitions mean anything... as in, "Relax? Relax! What do you mean relax??!! I AM RELAXED!!"
The other (not so detailed) admonition I heard was to stand as if your queue was suspended from the ceiling, and your spine strung like a string of pearls - which I found helpful as an imagery of the contradiction.