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34 EXERCISES

6. CLOUD HANDS

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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.

Lets begin by practicing with single arms.

Right Arm

Place your right hand about 6 inches in front of your naval, palm facing your body, and lift your right hand while looking at your palm. Your right hand continues to move up your centreline the level of your face. Be careful not to lift your elbow or shoulder your right elbow or shoulder this is a little like the famous "Royal wave" with the forearm only. When your palm has reached your face turn the trunk towards the right corner and turn the right palm outward by swivelling the forearm to the right, right palm facing the right, then push the palm downward to the right side to waist height. Then turn the palm to face the floor and bring it back towards the centre of the body, when you turn the palm back towards the stomach again. Perform this movement a few times until you get used to it. It is essentially a circular movement.

Left Arm

repeat the above instructions with the left arm, turning to the left side in a mirror movement.

Both Arms

Now let's practice with both Arms together.

As before, start with the right palm facing the body travelling up the centre line to the height of the face, then turn the palm out as you turn to the right corner with the upper body. When the right palm descends, the left palm has travelled to the right side, palm turn downwards, at waist level, ready to take over as the right palm turns out and down. Then the left palm faces the body and rises up the centre line as you turn the upper body to the left corner. The right palm, which has just finished its downward circle, has turned downwards an now travels underneath the left hand - following as if being pulled by an invisible thread by the left hand. When the torso reaches the left corner the left palm turns out and down to the left side and the right hand, which has travelled with it underneath, begins to rise and face the body again as it comes up the centre line, the trunk travelling back to the right corner.

Repeat 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: "SIDE STEPPING"

For more information on this footstep refer to "Side Stepping" on the footwork page.

APPLICATION

Applying the footwork to the posture:-

APPLICATION

Applying the footwork to the posture:-

Step Left

First we step two paces to the left.

Stand with feet parallel about shoulder width. begin with the left palm the centre of the stomach rising up to your face turning the upper body to the left corner. As your left palm is turning outwards and beginning its downward journey you step to the left. As the left hand lowers you transfer weight to the left foot and lift the right heel, placing the right foot down a few inches from the left. Both feet parallel toes facing the front. Now with weight on both feet equally you turn the upper body to the right corner while performing the right hand circle (remembering left hand must follow underneath). Finish the right circle and as the left palm takes over, facing the stomach to travel upward, your upper body turns back to the front; transfer weight to the right foot and again take a step to the left. The left palm facing the body, rising up to face height as before. When the left palm turns out and sinks the right foot steps up again, weight 50-50 on both feet.

Step Right

Now we step two paces to the right, carrying on smoothly from the previous posture.

As the right palm rises up to your face turn the upper body to the right corner. As your right palm is turning outwards and beginning its downward journey you step to the right. As the right hand lowers you transfer weight to the right foot and lift the left heel, placing the left foot down a few inches from the right. Both feet parallel toes facing the front. Now with weight on both feet equally you turn the upper body to the left corner while performing the left hand circle (remembering right hand must follow underneath). Finish the left circle and as the right palm takes over, facing the stomach to travel upward, your upper body turns back to the front; transfer weight to the left foot and again take a step to the right. The right palm facing the body, rising up to face height as before. When the right palm turns out and sinks the left foot steps up again, weight 50-50 on both feet.


NOTES

Cloud Hands is a traditional Tai Chi posture and is included in most Tai Chi forms. The form used here is from the Yang style 24 step.

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© 2018 Michael Davies