The typical instruction on how to feel your chi between your hands typically isolates feeling to the hands; feeling a magnetic force or a pressure between your hands. What does this have to do with Taiji, Bagua, XingYi and developing internal strength?
The "Feel Your Chi Between Your Hands" exercise is both a dead end and an opening. If I focus only on my hands and play in the chi paradigm, I could imagine I'm compressing a ball of chi. And then what's next? Feeling others' chi? Feeling plant chi? "Feeling" I'm cosmically connected because I can "feel" all this chi? From my past experience, this road did not result in building the internal connectedness of internal strength and so to me, this exercise, this 'parlor trick' in this frame leads to a dead end.
On the other hand, when I switch paradigms, and use the basic physical set-up of the exercise as the starting point to noticing the kinesthetic connectedness of my hands, forearms, upper arms, upper body, with my intention to... , keeping my practice grounded in my body, in a way that is verifiable, then this becomes a practice with potential to help me develop a sense of kinesthetic-intentional integration, a sense of connectedness, to build what is described by others in the internal martial arts community as "internal strength".
So let's try this exercise in a different paradigm. Begin as usually suggested with elbows at your sides, hands about waist height and body width apart with palms facing each other. However, without externally, physically moving your hands or arms, now manifest the intention to alternately move the hands together and apart. (If it helps, imagine compressing a ball between your hands and stretching a rubber band looped around your wrists.)
When I first started playing with this, I first noticed a feeling like a pressure in my palms and on the inside of my forearms when "squeezing" and on the back of my hand and outside of my forearms when "expanding". For lack of precise terminology, let's call this the "fascial plane activating". After playing with this a while, the feeling for me now is stronger in my hands and forearms as compared to my upper arms and upper body where it is more subtle.
When practicing this, there is a tendency to engage the muscle kind of like a white crane movement; wings closing and opening. I try to back off as much as possible (remember: relax, structure, balance) and maintain the feeling at the intention level and noticing connection with the intention.
It's only subtle if you haven't noticed it before. With practice over time, what was subtle becomes obvious. Continue playing on the edge of subtle.
The Third Feeling
Functionality and Wujifa