If you don’t ”play” taiqiquan, but you want a feel for what it’s all about, try the following exercise. Tai chi walk with wings is ideal for getting to know what it’s really like to slow down your movements. Its precision with foot placement is great for helping your awareness with balance, and its overall fluidity and smoothness will soon have you moving like a graceful bird!
Stand with heels of the feet together, knees slightly bent, hands by your side. Shift the weight onto the right leg and take a step directly to the left so that your feet end up parallel with each other and are pelvic width apart. Your weight should now be even on each foot. Now, shift weight back to the right and take a step forward with the left foot, placing the heel of the foot down first. Your step should be like a normal and natural walking step, not too long and not too short. Gradually place the left foot down, from heel to toe, with your weight still on your other leg. Once grounded, shift weight onto the left foot so that you can lift the right to take another step forward. At the same time, imagine that your arms are the wings of a large bird, like a heron. Raise them to shoulder height at your sides with the raising of the leg, lower them as you step down. Inhale through the nose as the arms rise, and exhale through the nose as they lower. Make sure that your knees remain slightly bent as you move forward. Don’t lock your knees at any time as you are shifting weight or lifting your legs. Breathe normally through the nose, if possible try and coordinate your inhale with raising your arms, and your exhale with lowering them. Your body should not rise up and down, rather only forwards and sideways, as if you were skating across an icy pond. Continue to walk in this manner until you run out of space!
Leave a reply →