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Tai Chi Lower Body Silk Reeling Method

Tai Chi Lower Body Silk Reeling Method

Here is a short excerpt from my recently published book, How to Tai Chi in 10 Minutes a Day. This is a training tip regarding lower body silk reeling method as I learned from my teacher, Grandmaster Wang Xi’an.

The reason I chose this as the first excerpt to share from my book is simple – In all the years I have been practicing tai chi, I think I never heard lower body silk reeling method explained clearly until now. There are some subtle things happening with the legs silk reeling and I think for many people if it is not explained clearly there can be a lot of misunderstanding that leads to incorrect practice. It is my hope that this short training tip will make the lower body silk reeling more clear and then easy to practice and manifest! I invite everyone to practice this lower body silk reeling method as a solo exercise, just as I explain it below. Once it is understood and you can practice smoothly, then start incorporating it into your form practice and Push Hands too (and of course basics)!

Try this for a while. Any questions you may have please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to clarify this method…

LowerBody_Silk_Reeling (1 of 5)

Begin in Horse Stance – feet 3 to 4 feet apart, turn toes outward slightly, bend knees 30 – 45 degrees, and sit down from the pelvis.

Cross the center of your palms (men place left hand first, women place right hand first), and place them on the lower stomach approximately 2 – 3 inches below the umbilicus.

Keep your body straight with the point at the very top of the head lifting up, and the perineum sinking down, both these points forming a straight line with gravity.

LowerBody_Silk_Reeling (5 of 5)

Shift to Right Bow & Arrow Stance – Weight 70% right side – Waist rotate to right – Body raise up to top of arc – Legs silk reel/spiral in (right leg counterclockwise, left leg clockwise = lifting/raising up) – Knees compress towards each other – Heels “grinding” outward.

LowerBody_Silk_Reeling (1 of 5)

Shift to Horse Stance – Weight 50 – 50 – Waist rotate to front – Body sink down to bottom of arc – Legs silk reel/spiral out (right leg clockwise, left leg counterclockwise = sinking down) – Knees expand away from each other – Heels “grinding” inward.

LowerBody_Silk_Reeling (2 of 5)

Shift to Left Bow & Arrow Stance – Weight 70% left side – Waist rotate to left – Body raise up to top of arc – Legs silk reel/spiral in (right leg counterclockwise, left leg clockwise = lifting/raising up – Knees compress towards each other – Heels “grinding” outward.

Practice shifting back and forth from Right Side Bow and Arrow Stance to Horst Stance to Left SideBow and Arrow Stance, etc. until your movement is smooth and you are incorporating all of the elements explained above. GOOD LUCK with your training! And thanks for taking the time to read this training tip!

Dr. Bob Bacher

Special Notes:

  1. Make sure both feet remain firmly on the ground.
  2. In Bow and Arrow Stance, keep a slight bend at the extended knee – do not lock it in full extension.
  3. Make sure your shoulders stay directly in line with your hips and your nose stays in line with your umbilicus – there is no spinal rotation in this movement – the entire upper body moves as one piece from the waist/hips.
  4. “Grinding” inward – imagine the points just lateral to the ball of the feet are the pivot point, and the heels are pushing/rotating (grinding) inward. On the second half of the movement, the heels are pushing/rotating (grinding) outward. The heels are not actually grinding, they are pushing inward and outward in coordination with all the other components of this complex exercise…
  5. Learn this lower body silk reeling well before adding the arm silk reeling!

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