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.
49. High Pat the Horse - right hand high50. Side Loops - Step forward left foot, loop hands right51. Block & Punch - right punch52. Withdraw & Push53. Step up Crossing Hands - turn to right, right hand in front of left54. Diagonal Brush Knee - left55. Turn Body Brush Knee - 180 degrees right56. Hands Play Guitar, Grasping Birds Tail - Diagonal57. Diagonal Single Whip - left hand, foot towards left side, balanced
The Tai Chi forms contain the tools we need to retrain our mind and to develop our skills in present moment attention. To understand how to use the tools we also need to understand how to train ourselves to be more attentive to the present moment and also how to lesson the amount of time we spend thinking about the past and the future.
In ancient India they had a technique for training wild elephants, as you can imagine a wild elephant is very powerful, its pulling force is strong and no matter how hard you try if it wants to go somewhere it will. The way the elephants were tamed is this; firstly they would take a very strong post and drive it deeply into the ground. Then they would tie a long rope to the stake and harness the elephant with it. The elephant then runs around pulling on the rope but because of the ropes length it would still have some freedom move. Article Continued Below
Over time they would shorten the rope, until the elephant was forced to stand next to the post. By now the elephant became comfortable with its slowly decreasing range of movement and it knows that it can not pull the post up or break the rope so it becomes content to stand next to the post. The last stage of training they would then untie the rope from the post. The trainer could then drop the rope on the ground anywhere and the elephant would think that it was still tied to the post so would stand by it, the trainer could then leave the elephant where ever they wanted and it would stand next to rope.
In this metaphor our mind is the wild elephant, it is wild because it is untamed, in its untamed state it wanders where it wants, does what it wants, is dangerous and does us more harm than good. Once trained it is a great asset that will make our lives better as we can now put its enormous strength and energy to good for us.Article Continued Below
The post represents the object of our attention during practice that is the place that we apply our attention to use as an anchor for the mind, to stop it from wandering between thoughts of the past and future. The anchors that we use during practice of our forms are initially, following the movement of our hands with our eyes, then we can start to feel the sensations generally involved in the movement of our whole body like lightness, heaviness, tingling, hot, cold, hardness etc.
Next we move on to the breathing, feeling the expansion and contraction of the breath inside us as we are breathing in and out. Breathing in we breathe into the lower Dan Tien, (three finger widths below our belly button) breathing out we breathe out through the hands and feet. Breathing in we draw our abdomen in feeling the contraction of our whole body, breathing out we expand our abdomen out feeling the expansion through our whole body. Allow your mind to move with the breath and feel the circle of change between expansion and contraction.
© Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved
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