Archive for the ‘Taiji 24’ Category

A Note On Snake Creeps Down

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

A little while back whilst Greeny and I were in the throes of getting married and moving house (I got married to Annie (again) and he moved house) @ezduzit777 on Twitter posted a note on Snake Creeps Down that inspired a short conversation on how this posture should really be done. As I was in Malaysia at the time and Greeny had packed the camera we couldn’t do a short post on what you should be looking out for in this posture.

Snake Creeps Down usually conjures up images of lithe and limber ladies literally slithering along close to the ground. Now that’s not something that everyone can do, not that I was ever a lithe and limber lady. My point is, that the whole point of a good Snake Creeps Down is not how low you can go, it’s not a limbo competition. What you’re trying to do is to stretch all the yin meridians that pass through the inside leg, and if you’re practising for health and cultivation, this should be your main focus when practising this posture. So, you should go as low as you need to to feel the stretch on the inside leg, which may be higher or lower than you might think.

If you really want to do a low Snake, then you’ll have to work the posture down to a low level over a period of time like Greeny did. It’s not strictly required for health cultivation but if you want to impress the girls and stay healthy at the same time I’d say go for it.

Yang Taiji 24 – Play Guitar – Posture 5

Friday, June 19th, 2009

This is the last posture in the first section of the Yang Taiji 24 Form.  It’s not quite as complex as some of the transitions you’ve already seen, so if you’ve got through those you should find this a bit easier to do.

Things to remember are to make sure you do a half step and not a full one, and to relax the shoulders as the hands lift.  Try not to hold your breath as you do this posture.  Holding the breath makes you hold tension in your chest, and the last part of this posture is all about a relaxation of the whole upper body, so it’ll help if you breathe out at that point.

Happy practise!

Yang Taiji 24 – Brush Knee and Twist Step Posture 4

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Brush Knee Twist Step is repeated twice more in the Yang Taiji 24 Form so you end up with your left foot in front.

You should be fairly familiar with these movements already as you would have covered them in the transition from White Crane Spreads Wings to Brush Knee Twist Step.

Yang Taiji 24 – Transition From White Crane to Brush Knee Twist Step

Friday, June 12th, 2009

OK, the first slightly tricky bit in the Taijiquan form.  This next lesson on the Yang Taiji 24 is structured as a  “Watch Me, Follow Me, Show Me” lesson as two separate videos, as we promised in the TWBI post.

In the spirit of keeping this as simple as possible, we’ve left the footwork detail to the next lesson so we don’t pack too much information into one lesson.  If  this is all new to you, or even if it’s not try out the learning technique on this Taijiquan posture.

The Watch Me Bit

The Follow Me Bit

The Show Me Bit

For this bit, you can practise quietly by yourself or if you feel adventurous, film yourself and send us a clip.  We’d love to see how you’re getting on.

Yang Taiji 24 – White Crane Spreads Wings

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

A special Taijiquan bonus for you today, two videos!  The next posture in the Yang Taiji 24 is the rather fancily named White Crane Spreads Wings.  The first video above is a summary of how to do the posture.  If you’re learning the Taijiquan form from these videos, then I’d watch that video several times and visualise yourself doing the movement.

Once you’ve done that, follow along to the movement as you see it done on screen.  Do this a few times and when you’re reasonably confident, then go ahead and try to do this on your own without any help from the Taijiquan video.

Over the years we still use this method in our own training whether it’s picking stuff up from our teacher, a workshop or a video (Yes we have learnt some very cool things from videos too!).  We’d watch it, follow it and then do it.

When you’ve done that – you’re ready for the details!

This next video in the Yang Taiji 24 is all about the details of the posture, these are the things that are going to flesh out your movement and are the nuts and bolts of how it make it feel good when you do it.

Yang Taiji 24 – Repeat Part The Wild Horse’s Mane

Friday, May 29th, 2009

You already know the next bit of the Taijiquan form.  After having done Part The Wild Horse’s Mane for the first time, you repeat it twice more so that you end up with your left leg forward.  This bit is a fairly straightforward bit of the Yang Taiji 24, as you have done all of the movements already, but we put it in so that you could have a video to “join the dots” on your Taijiquan instruction.

Yang Taiji 24 – Postures 1 & 2 Together

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

This lesson joins up postures 1 and 2 of the Yang Taiji 24 together.  Here’s how to link the Opening and Parting The Wild Horse’s Mane together to complete the first two postures of the Taijiquan form.

We suggest you look at this bit when you’re confident with the first two posture of the Taijiquan form individually.  Then you can try to string them together.

Yang Taiji 24 – Part The Wild Horses Mane – Footwork Detail

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

For your next bit of Taijiquan instruction, here are the details of the footwork on Part The Wild Horse’s Mane (posture 2). The reason why we used Greeny for this is because his size 12 flippers would make it easier to see how the feet are placed. The lines on the floorboards help you see how the feet are placed relative to each other. This detail is important as it really makes the balance of the posture work, as well as making sure you don’t put any twisting strain on the knees, which is common for this Taijiquan posture.

If you can, find a place where there are straight lines on the floor so you can practise the Taijiquan walk.  It’ll really help with getting the details on this posture together.

Yang Taiji 24 – Part The Wild Horse’s Mane – Posture 2

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Posture 2 of the Yang Taiji 24 form. This picks up where The Opening of Taiji left off. This Taijiquan posture is done to a count of five so you can “join the dots” as you’re learning it. Each movement has a rhythm, and the count expresses the rhythm to make it easier to learn and remember.

It really helps to break down any movement in Taijiquan that can be broken down into chunks that you can do to a count. That way rather than having to remember the whole Taijiquan movement, all you need to do is just remember the “dots” as it were and it makes the form a lot easier to learn.

Yang Taiji 24 – The Opening of Taijiquan

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Back to basics! Here’s the first in our series of videos on the Yang Taiji 24. We’ve kept it short so you can watch it easily again and again.

The opening of  Taijiquan is a movement that you should use to centre and ground yourself, the slight sinking of the knees and the gentle rise and fall as the hands go up and down are there to help you slip into a flow state that is so important in Taijiquan practise.  You can also use this movement as a qigong (They call it “threading the nine pearls”) exercise and a very effective one it is too.

The emphasis of this Taijiquan posture is not the movement, but the state that you are in when you do the movement.  This the emphasis of this Yang Taiji 24 opener is not what is going on outside yourself, but what is internal.