Step directly forward one pace with your right foot, and once the foot comes in contact with the floor place 80% of your body weight on to it. Bend your right knee, but keep your left leg straight. At the same time as you step, move your hands forward and outward in an arc, rotating on your elbows, and keep the palms of both hands uppermost, with the fingers pointing directly forward. The right hand should be one hand's length ahead of your left hand, and both arms roughly parallel to the floor.
Slowly transfer your body weight on to your left leg and bend the left knee slightly, and as you do this allow your right foot to slide back towards you. Once your foot stops moving, raise the right toes, ensuring that you keep your heel in contact with the floor. As you transfer your body weight, turn your hands outward and then upward by rotating your wrists. These two half circles should be about the size of a football, and the left hand is kept behind the right hand. Now draw both hands back towards your navel by bending your elbows more deeply.
Pivot on your left leg whilst you slowly circle your right foot ninety degrees to your right, so you face West. Place your right foot on the floor and bend your right knee so that about 80 % of your body weight is transferred to it. Adjust the angle of your left foot with a heel and toe movement, and straighten your left leg. Simultaneously rotate your wrists so that your hands hang downwards, then circle them inwards towards your body, and finally turn them over so that both palms face upward. Having completed the circular action of the hands allow both arms to swing to your right to follow the turning movement of your body. Keep your elbows fairly close to your body, and your left hand behind your right hand.
The Chinese Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan
by Chee Soo
Copyright ©Seahorse Books 2003 reproduced with permission