The Crane Exercises its Wings

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Sequence 4: The Crane Exercises its Wings

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Tcform 12.jpg
12. Riding Horse Stance

(Ch'i Ma Shih)
This can be a little tricky, so concentrate. First of all lower the toes of your right foot, but before they touch the floor, turn your foot to the left, pivoting on the heel. As you do this, turn your body to the left too, so that you face South once more. Now lift your left toes, and while you pivot on your left heel, swing your left toes slightly to the left and lower them to the floor. As you turn your body allow both arms to swing down in front of the body, then slowly move them outwards and upwards until they are parallel with the floor, on a level with your shoulders. As you complete these arm movements, point the fingers of your left hand upwards and your right hand fingers down. As your arms swing down in front of your body, allow the flow of movement to sink your weight and bend your knees.

Tcform 13.jpg
13. Leopard Stance

(Pao Shih)
Lean to your right, transferring your body weight on to your right leg, and at the same time bend your right knee and straighten your left leg. As this happens allow your arms to swing down towards the floor, then upwards in front of your abdomen. Now let your right hand rise so that it stops in front of your left shoulder with the palm facing inward, whilst the left hand is slightly bent to form a cup just underneath your right elbow.

Tcform 14.jpg
14. Eagle Stance

(Ying Shih)
Draw your left foot inwards towards your right foot until both heels touch and your toes are turned slightly outwards. Once your feet are together, straighten your body and distribute your weight evenly on both legs. Whilst doing this, allow both arms to swing downwards. The left arm should be moved to your left side, with your left open hand nestling close to your left thigh. Your right arm should continue its motion in a big circular arc, outwards and upwards, until your right hand is above and in front of your head. Your right palm should face directly forward, and your right fingers should be pointing to your left (or Eastwards).

Tcform 15.jpg
15. Eagle Stance

(Ying Shih)
Without moving your feet, turn the upper part of your body ninety degrees to your left and endeavour to keep the balance of your body in the centre of both feet. You will need strict mental control to keep both feet firmly rooted to the floor. Both arms are kept in the positions of Stance 14, and they should both move with the turn of your body.

Tcform 16.jpg
16. Eagle Stance

(Ying Shih)
Slowly turn your body to your right, so that you face directly South once again. Simultaneously, circle your left arm and hand outwards, sideways and upwards, then inwards towards your right hand. The palms of both hands should face directly forward (South), with the fingers and thumbs of both hands held close together, and the fingertips pointing towards each other and held a few inches apart.

Tcform 17.jpg
17. Riding Horse Stance

(Ch'i Ma Shih)
Circle both arms outwards and downwards, then upwards in front of your abdomen and chest. Both arms should cross in front of the chest, and your hands should finish their movement by the sides of your jaws with your palms facing your cheeks. Your right arm should be in front of your left arm. At the same time slowly move your left foot sideways to your left (East), until both feet are a little wider apart than the width of your shoulders, and bend both knees deeply. As your arms move downwards let your weight also sink down, but maintain the balance of your body evenly on both legs.

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The Chinese Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan

by Chee Soo

Copyright ©Seahorse Books 2003 reproduced with permission