Embrace the Moon

Embrace the Moon

(Step-by-Step instructions)

 

1. PREPARATION
*Before beginning Tai Chi movements, stand in Wu Chi posture.

            Wu Chi- "that which is without limit" - so you are in a state of preparation where all   things are possible, all potential; from here you can discover your limitless possibilities. In Wu Chi, all things are produced and Tai Chi is the product. Your mind is without limit - hence, you are without limit.

                        Principles:

                   *Head suspended by a string from above.
                   *Eyes rest in gaze forward, or looking down, 45 degrees past nose.
                   *Shoulders lowered, suspended; "bird's eggs in armpits".
                   *Spine straight; chest slightly hollow.
                   *Elbows relaxed, arms curved naturally.
                   *Tilt pelvis to draw buttocks; tuck/roll tailbone under, lower back

                          "flattens-out" for less strain on your body.
                   *Sink chi to tan tien; allow mind to rest on tan tien, be aware that all

                           your movements will originate form here, like the axle of a wheel.
                   *Unlock/Soften your knees (for more able, slightly bend, but DO NOT

                           feel strain - If you do, there's too much bending without comfort.

                           If pelvis tilted and the buttocks are tucked correctly, the strain

                           will not occur, as weight bearing bypasses knee and sinks to feet

                           ("bubbling well").
                   *Allow tip of tongue to rest on roof of mouth (hard palate), with

                           comfort; teeth/lips lightly closed.
                   *Become aware of your feet and your rooted connection to the earth;

                           keep mind on tan tien/breathe into tan tien - sink chi to tan tien.
                   *Feet together: Weight balanced evenly, centered at "bubbling well" -

                           spot behind ball of foot (K1: Kidney meridian; your center of

                           gravity for weight bearing).
                   *Stand comfortably, breathe, you'll feel tension begin to leave the

                           body. Do not rush to begin your movement - feel ready and

                           centered. With Tai Chi you are always finding your center.

2. COMMENCEMENT

a. With weight staying 100% on right foot, step to left, shoulder width; when left      foot "safe" and ready to root; shift weight, equal 50-50 on both feet; middle fingers touch side of legs.

b. Gently lift arms, leading with wrists, waist height - arms softly curved/relaxed, palms facing each other. When waist height, palms turn toward ground, hands      curved/cupped; continue lifting, leading with wrists, elbows/shoulders relaxed     downward, until hands shoulder height/width (as if making semicircle upward with hands); (Your body may have moved forward from ankles, if you're able).

c. Soften/Lower elbows toward body, without touching, upper arms parallel with straight back; hands in front of shoulders, palms curved.

d. Hands gently semicircle forward and down; as hands pass waist, sink weight further(root); hands stoop by hips/upper thighs, arms/palms naturally/gently curved; palms on 45-degree angle.

3. HOLD THE BALL

a. Shift weight to left foot (waist moves levelly; nose and tan tien in line with foot; movements come form waist); slightly lift right toes, pivot on right heel as body turns 45 degrees to right (2 o'clock) keeping nose, tan tien, right toes in line - body moves as one unit, chest hollow.

b. Place right foot flat on floor; shift weight to right foot, waist moves levelly; lead with waist/tan tien; keep back straight, do not bend at waist. As you shift to right, hands go into motion to "hold the ball": Right hand forms semicircle to throat height, palm facing downward; left hand forms ¼ circle to tan tien height, palm facing upward. Elbows/Shoulders relaxed; right elbow points downward.

 

4. GRASP BIRD'S TAIL

a. With body remaining turned 45 degrees to right (2 o'clock), bring left toes to right instep; step with left foot 45 degrees to left (10 o'clock) - heel to toe step - toes point straight ahead (12 o'clock).

WARD OFF SLANTING UPWARD

b. As weight shifts to left foot, body turns fo