The first video contain instruction similar to how this tai chi form is taught during my classes, the 2nd video is of all the movements joined together filmed from front and back to make it easier for you to learn.
96. Low Posture- hands circle over head, sink down and back into right leg97. 7 Star Posture- weight left leg, left hand behind right98. Step Back, Ride the Tiger - step back, left leg up to right side, looking forward99. Palm Strike to Face - right hand block, left hand palm strike
For every force there must be an opposite force otherwise the function of our body will be out of balance. For example: one hand pushing forward on one side of the body, if it is not balanced out by opposite force on the other side, will cause an imbalance. With the slightest touch our body will start to spin, this is because the energy we are creating is pulling us forward and causing it to happen. Try it out now, lift up your right arm and push it forward without doing anything with your left, notice that the more your arm pushes forward the more your body starts to turn.
Now let’s balance this out, push your right arm forward and at the same time put your left hand in front near the right elbow. Without touching your right arm push the front edge of your left hand forward (thumb at the back) and also have the feeling of pulling your left elbow back at the same time. Now you can push your right arm forward all you want because you have opposite force, the forces are balanced.
When we learn to combine both our arms with our waist it will cause both sides of our hip to push forward, this in turn stops us from spinning because each hip counteracts the other. Opposite force is like this, there are opposite force relationships throughout our body, interacting with each other all the time. These relationships aren’t just between our arms but body and legs also, there are many cross references and with self study we become aware of them Article Continued Below.
A simple relationship is to look at the legs and arms, study the relationship between your wrist and ankle, elbow and knee, shoulder and hip. Each posture in the tai chi slow form has been designed with the perfect balance of opposite force between all aspects of the body; that is if the postures are finished right.
The Treatise of Tai chi chuan says: “If there is something on the top, there must be something below; if there is something in the front, there must be something behind; if there is something in the left, there must be something in the right.”
Our eyes are a doorway to our mind, when our eyes go to a sight our mind goes also, where our mind goes our chi also goes, to keep our chi inside we need to control our eyes. In the form it is important to control our eyes, to anchor our mind. This is the first stage that we start to enter into the meditation aspect of tai chi. Our mind when untrained is like a monkey jumping from branch to branch, one thought, emotion, sense object to another. To experience the stillness in tai chi we need to tame the monkey, train the mind. Article Continued Below.
To do this we initially need to fix our mind / attention on one object, the first object provided in slow form is our hands. If we observe our form we will notice that as we change postures our hands are constantly passing each other. This is because the dominant / yang hand in the form is constantly changing. This is part of the spinning of the yin / yang, the change that we study in our forms to acquire wisdom and understanding.
Our task whilst performing the form is to anchor our eyes on the dominant / yang hand, when the yang hand changes so does the focus of our eyes. You will find that every time there is a yin / yang change coming the hands will pass each other; that is your que to swap objects. There are a few postures where the hands do no change clearly, like in Watch Low Hands. Just remember that it is the dominant / yang hand that we should be following with our eyes and everything will work out. Notice how when you do sustain this following your form will become lighter, your concentration and awareness will grow Article Continued Next Lesson.
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This article was written by Stephen Procter, instructor from Tai Chi Health for Life, Australian College of Tai Chi & Qi Gong and Meditation Instructor from Meditation in the Shire, Kirrawee NSW, Australia. If you wish to post this article on another website or in a publication please respect the author and reference / link back to this website, thank you