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34 EXERCISES

15. GRASP SPARROWS TAIL

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Quick Links to Postures 1-17 | 1 Lifting Arms | 2 Opening the Chest | 3 Painting the Rainbow | 4 Separating Clouds | 5 Rolling Arms | 6 Cloud Hands | 7 Raise the Ball | 8 Carry the Moon | 9 Pushing Waves | 10 Loosening the Trunk | 11 Touch the Sea, Look at the Sky | 12 Rotate the Wheel and Point at the Moon | 13 Parting Wild Horses Mane | 14 Brush Knee and Push | 15 Grasp Sparrows Tail | 16 Fair Lady Weaves Shuttles | 17 Punching


STAGE 1: SEATED

Consult the "seated stage" notes in posture 1 regarding sitting / chairs.

Begin with hands lightly resting on the thighs, palms down.

Grasp Sparrow's Tail is in 4 parts but they are performed together as one integral unit coordinated with breathing.

RIGHT SIDE

1 Ward-Off

Inhale

Hold the ball as you did with "Parting Wild Horses Mane" on the left side.

Exhale

With your torso facing the left corner, squash the ball and turn the torso to the front, the right arm raises to the centre of the body, the palm and forearm turned to face the body about 8 inches in front of the chest, wrist should be in line with the breast bone. the forearm should be horozontal. Make sure the right elbow is lower than the hand. Simultaneously, the left hand descends a little into the centre of the body, finishing with fingers pointing at - and a few inches away from - the right wrist. This is the "Ward-Off" position (right).

2 Roleback

Inhale

Turn the torso to the right corner. As you do so, raise the right forearm, the palm facing left. It finishes almost vertical. Simultaneously move the left arm to the right so that the left palm ends up facing - and a few inches from - the inner right elbow).

In the same breath you turn the torso from the right corner all the way to the left as far as you can to the left rear. Your left arm follows the torso sweeping at chest height horizontally back to the left - palm facing the right - until it gets to the rear left. The right arm also travels to the left, the arm lowering to horizontal, palm facing the left.

3 Press

Exhale

Turn the torso back to face the front. Keep the right arm bent in approximately the same position across your chest horizontally. As you return to face front the right palm is again in the ward off position in front of your chest. The left arm returns to the front with it, bent at the elbow, left palm facing forwards coming around the left shoulder to the front. When the left hand arrives at the front the palm faces directly forward and rests on the right wrist/forearm.

4 Push

Inhale

From the press position separate your hands and move your arms to shoulder width and shoulder height and turn both palms to face forward. Bring your hands back about 6 - 8 inches closer to your upper chest shoulders.

Exhale

Move both hands forward, palms facing ahead, still at shoulder-width, as though you're pushing something.

Return to the beginning position with hands on your thighs.

LEFT SIDE

Repeat the four stages on the left side, mirroring the right side exactly. Begin with holding a ball on the right side.

Repeat, alternating between the left and right stages, several times.

Consult the "important points" in exercise one regarding "moving in water".

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STAGE 2: STANDING STATIC

Stand with feet at shoulder width and parallel, toes facing directly forward. Legs should be straight with Knees slightly bent.

Perform the torso movements as in the seated stage while keeping the lower half of the body - including the hips - still. Only move the arms and torso.

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STAGE 3: STANDING WITH FOOTWORK

METHOD 2: "LUNGING BOW POSTURE"

Refer to the "Lunging-Bow" directions in the footwork section

APPLICATION

Applying the footwork to the posture:-

Stand with feet at shoulder width and parallel, toes facing directly forward. Legs should be straight with Knees slightly bent.

Perform the torso movements as in the standing static stage with these additional steps:-

RIGHT SIDE

1 Ward-Off

Inhale

As you hold the ball on the left side, turn left foot to face the left corner.

Exhale

Move into the "Ward-Off" position on the right side as you step out with the right foot.

2 Roleback

Inhale

As you turn the torso to the right corner keep weight 50% both feet then as you turn torso to the left rear move weight about 80 % onto the rear (left) foot.

3 Press

Exhale

As you turn the torso back to face the front into the "Press" posture, transfer weight 50% on both feet again.

4 Push

Inhale

As you separate your hands move weight 80% onto rear left foot.

Exhale

As you push forward, palms facing ahead, transfer weight about 50% on both feet.

Repeat the four stages on the left side, mirroring the right side exactly. Begin with holding a ball on the right side.

Repeat, alternating between the left and right stages, several times.

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NOTES

Grasp Sparrows Tail posture is taken from the traditional Yang style Tai Chi form.

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VIDEO

This video shows the standing footwork stage of this posture.


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© 2018 Michael Davies