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.
100. Turn Body, Double Lotus Kick - circle hands, right leg101. Bend the Bow, Shoot the Tiger - weight forward right leg, strike back left fist102 & 103. High Pat the Horse, Palm Strike to Face104. Turn Body Hammer - right hand hammer105. High Pat the Horse - right hand high. Circle Hands - right hand circles over left, rolls into grasping birds tail106. Grasping Birds Tail - hands from left side to right side, then push to cnr, hook right hand107. Single Whip - left hand foot towards left side, balanced108. Close - feet together, hands together, elbows down, body up, fingers down
During slow form use reverse breathing, reverse breathing pumps up the energy / chi and aids in the last factor “expansion and contraction”. Reverse breathing is opposite to the way that we normally breathe. During normal breathing when we breathe in our diaphragm drops and abdomen expands, when we breathe out our diaphragm lifts and abdomen contracts.
During reverse breathing whilst breathing in we contract our abdomen, whilst breathing out expand it. This is opposite to normal breathing and has the function of oxygenating the body and pumping up energy. It also has the function of a pump in increasing chi flow throughout the body and also to aid in sinking and expansion. Article Continued Below.
Breathing is done in a controlled way, in breath and out breath is deep and even in length. We can then use this as the first internal focus, as an object of concentration, as an aid to settle and retrain the mind.
Once initial concentration has been built on the breathing and reverse breathing becomes natural we can allow the breath to find its own pace. Breathing is a reflection of our mind, when we are agitated so is our breathing, it becomes short and choppy. When we are relaxed our breathing appears relaxed, long deep and smooth. Allowing the breath to find its own balance at this time allows the mind to settle and concentration to increase.
Do not try to change the breathing to match the speed of your form, this will stop the mind from settling, instead allow the breathing to dictate the speed of your form, in this way as the mind settles the breathing will become longer and deeper and the movements following the breath will also slow down. In this way your whole form can combine as one, as you practice and become more relaxed so will the speed of your form, there is no need to control it, control is opposite to meditation.
In this way you might notice that your slow form may appear to be different speeds throughout the day, and this is true because how settled your mind is will also change throughout the day. Regardless if you allow your breath to dictate the speed of your form the end result will be the same, the mind will settle, form become light, and you will experience peace
Chi follows mind, where mind sits chi flows. We need to learn to control our mind, following the hands with the eyes and then following the breathing with our mind is the first two steps. To take it further we need to intentionally place our mind where we want the chi to flow.
When shifting into a yin posture and sinking down we need to think down into the feet and ground. When shifting into a yang posture we need to bring the mind up to the place in our body where the force is being sent out, for example our hands
Do this in a controlled way, do not allow the mind to go here and there, bring it from the feet, through the dan tian and up to the hands. When sinking do the same but in reverse. Your mind will want to wander, to thoughts, dreams and plans. When you notice this bring it gently, back to its task, do not get upset but be aware. Really feel where your mind sits, be aware of the feeling in the part of the body it is sitting in, and be aware of the flow of chi that rushes to this point.
The Key to the Thirteen Kinetic Movements says: “Where mind controls the operation of chi, calmness and steadiness are of decisive importance. Only when this is so can chi be capable of being permeated into the bones. When chi directs the movements of the body, the body must be In compliance with the chi, only when this is so, everything can be done according to the dictates of the mind.” Article Continued Below.
When shifting into a yin posture, such as standing on one leg, we must place our mind below our supporting leg and deep into the ground. When we think deep down into the ground it is like driving in strong post with a big hammer, our chi will sink deep down also, increasing our balance. This sinking down is supported by our in breath; we are breathing down into the feet and thinking down like a tree throwing out roots into the ground. When contracting all our chi must be sunk down
When shifting into a yang posture we should think in terms of expansion; breathing out bring the chi up through the dan tian and expand it out in all directions. This can be understood by thinking of a balloon, when a balloon lets air out it spurts out in one direction, this is like sinking down. When a balloon is filled with air it expands evenly in all directions, it has no preferences for this way or that; this is the feeling of expansion Article Continued Below.
Expansion and contraction are supported by movement, breathing and mind all combined, this in turn pumps and directs the chi, causing it to fill every cell in your body.
The Key to the Thirteen Kinetic Movements says: “The mobilizing of chi is like passing through a zig zag hole of a pearl, reaching any part of the body.”
If you practice patiently in this order a path will open to you and you will experience natural internal development. The key throughout is patient investigation, always looking, questioning, asking what is the best and most efficient way of doing this or that. With a questioning mind, deep investigation and repeated practice the internal form will open up and present itself to you.
© 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