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Holding Plant
Tai Chi
The Foundations I


Step I - Prior to starting

  • Practice the following routine:

    • The Thread videos (click if you are not familiar with this routine).

    • Practicing and maintaining "The Thread" helps   improve musculoskeletal alignment, postural stability, balance and enhances movement efficiency. These aspects are beneficial to everybody and crucial to the practice of Tai Chi. 

Step II - Warm up

It is crucial that you maintain the same position/posture as in "The Thread" during the following exercises (sitting at the front edge of the chair, feet firmly positioned on the floor, smoothing any excessive curvature of the spine, shoulders relaxed, etc.). 

  • "Tiger's Mouth" or "The Growling":

    • The growling contributes to proper muscle activation. And consequently, opening the possibility for improved stability and movement. Watch the following video.

  • "Holding the Ball"

    • “Tiger Growls” hands separated, approach hands until you “sense” or “perceive” something that feels like a ball of energy. If you have a hard time "feeling" it, increase the Tiger's growl to 20%, 30% or even more, until you are able to feel or perceive it

    • find a comfortable size and position and slide your hands around the surface of the ball

    • hold the ball on one hand. Move the ball forward, while the other hand “opens” to the side (try different levels), alternate sides

    • hold the ball on one hand and bring the ball to the side. Throw the ball and catch it with the other hand (if possible, follow the "trajectory" of the ball with your eyes)

  • "Pulling the Rope": 

    • hold an imaginary, thick cable or a rope (in front), pull the rope with one hand towards the side of the body, alternate sides

    • throw the rope to the right, hold a new cable coming from the left, “pull and let go” (sideways movement)​

"When the hip joints move, the upper body moves"

Let me introduce you to Bonnie, our skeleton. On this video, my hands are pushing-pulling Bonnie's knees. Nevertheless, her whole upper body is "moving". How come? As Bonnie's thighs "slide" back and fourth, they create motion at the hip joints. As a result, we could say that the upper body "moves" but in reality it does not move, it is being moved. So, yes, Bonnie "seems" to rotate, but in reality there is no spine rotation happening AT ALL. Bonnie's upper body structures are NOT MOVING, instead they are "BEING MOVED". The structures below the shoulders and above the hips (aka the trunk) move as a "block". This can be referred to as "trunk unity" or "internal unity".

Trunk unity contributes to higher levels of stability and balance. Practice until you are able to slide your thighs and create upper body movement to both sides (R to L and L to R) while maintaining "internal unity".

Watch our Prerequisite video PRIOR to
starting your Tai Chi Therapy home practice

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