Listen to your own body and keep all the movements in your own comfort zone. This is gentle, low impact, simple versions of Tai Chi and QiGong moves so that it’s easy to follow along. If the sun is shining – get out into the garden or local green space, observing social distancing guidance, and repeat it again – taking in some deep breaths of fresh air.
Over the coming days/months I’m hoping to sometimes ‘live-stream’ but I will have to practise first 🤣🤣🤣 All the YouTube content is FREE to watch and FREE TO SUBSCRIBE – PLEASE SUPPORT ME 😀 Views, likes, comments and Subscribers all help support my small You Tube Channel. Share amongst family and friends and anyone who you think will find these exercises beneficial.
Take care, stay safe, keep well and keep in touch. best wishes Daphne
I wanted to put a message out to say hope you are staying safe and keeping well and that I have a YOUTUBE channel called FRESHFIELD FITNESS which is already up and running and has lots of Tai Chi and Qi Gong that you can follow along at home. I am also aiming to upload every morning at 10 o’clock UK time a new session of Tai Chi, QiGong and Low Impact, Gentle Exercises that will help you stay active, maintain your strength and your mobility while we are at home. I will put a link in my bio and in the comments below to my youtube channel and I hope you join me tomorrow at 10 o’clock UK time. See you then.Bye
Link to My YOUTUBE CHANNEL – It’s FREE to view the content, follow the videos and to SUBSCRIBE
Hello everyone. Today’s video is going to talk through that basic Tai Chi move that is called ‘Stroking the Horse’s Mane’ or ‘Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane’. I’m going to talk you through the bare bones of the movement. In Tai Chi there’s always more layers that you can add once you start thinking about your posture, breathing, the coordination and timing, the movement of energy, martial art application, your mind-body connection, but leaving a lot of those layers aside for more in depth practice, we
shall just concentrate on getting the basic movement and that will help you with your everyday Tai Chi. OK let’s get started.
This movement starts with our hands holding our chi ball. Don’t worry about which hand you have in front if you are looking at me on a screen, if you do it mirror image that kind of might help you along but whatever suits you best. So feet hip-width apart. Let’s get a nice posture and we’re holding our ball. Now imagine that you have a horse standing in front of you and I want this top hand to stroke down that horse’s mane so we’re making a horse, sort of a horse’s mane, like the back of that and neck and back of that horse. We’re stroking down that mane. Our hand is gonna end this movement on our imaginary tabletop, just next to us. As we are starting to stroke the horse’s mane, this other hand is going to come up and hold a mirror. If you imagine this palm is a mirror and you’re going to look into the mirror, there’s a hand mirror that’s what you’re holding in front of you.
So let’s combine those two hand movements, we’ve got the stroking the horse’s mane and we’ve got the holding mirror. So let’s do that again. First side, stroking the horse’s mane and holding the mirror. Let’s do one more. Great once we’ve got to this position here, if we are going to combine this arm movement with our Tai Chi walk, we want this top hand to drop to the top of the ball and the bottom hand scoops under to make the bottom of the ball and then we are ready to start on the other side because our other hand is now on top of the ball. So let’s just do that final movement again. It’s almost like this top hand is closing the box so it makes the top of the ball and this bottom hand is curling under, it’s like scooping under to make the bottom of the ball. It happens at the same time, so we kind of coordinate these arms to move at the same time. So we go from holding the mirror to holding the ball. Then we can do our stroking the horse’s mane hand movement on the other side. So this top hand is going to stroke that horse’s mane down to our imaginary tabletop and the other hand is going to come up to hold a mirror, like our palm is the mirror we are looking into. Let’s do that bit again so holding the ball we’re going to stroke that horse on the second side and hold the mirror. And again. Stroke the horse and hold the mirror. Once we get to here exactly the same you want this top hand to become the top of the ball and the bottom hand scoops under to become the bottom of the ball. So from here the top hand becomes the top, bottom the bottom, top hand is closing that box and the bottom hand is scooping underneath. So we’ve done it on one side in the other.
We’re going to alternate each one now moving from one side to the other. So starting again holding our ball. We stroke the horse, we hold the mirror. Top hand becomes the top of the ball, bottom the bottom. Stroke the horse, hold the mirror. Top hand becomes the top of the ball, bottom the bottom. Stroke the horse. Hold the mirror. Top, top, bottom, bottom. Stroke the horse, hold the mirror. Top, top, bottom, bottom. Final time on each side.
So practice that bit until you get really good at it and then what we’re going to do is add a little bit of direction. Yes so a lot of our movement comes from this mid-line and the Dan Tien area. You really want to feel the whole of the body working through into these arm movements. So if I just get you to just soften your knees a little bit, just sink your weight into the ground so you’ve got slightly bent legs. We’re going to hold our ball. Then going to twist our waist to the corner a little bit. So we’re open out here, it’s
not across your body, so open out. So as we stroke the horse and hold the mirror I want you to feel that this power of this move is going to come from your Dan Tien area. What we want to do from a martial art point of view is this would be a striking arm and so this would be powered from, not just the arm moving, but the twist of the waist and once we add this to our footwork of the Tai Chi walk we will also have a transfer of weight. So each little part adds up to the move. If we turn our waist here we’re going to
stroke the horse down to the tabletop and this waist is going to turn to the centre, so we’re going from corner to Centre. Then as we hold the ball we’re going to twist the waist to the corner. We’re ready to go to the other side, so stroke the horse, hold the mirror to the centre, coming back to the corner. Stroking the horse, hold the mirror, up to the centre, coming back to the corner.
Stroke the horse, hold the mirror. One more time.
That’s the bare bones of the arms and we’ve added that emphasis of the twisting of the waist so that you can sort of incorporate into the whole movement. I’m now gonna add my feet. So our foot work for this is the Tai Chi walk. If you need a recap on that
then please check out this video here. I have recorded myself explaining the Tai Chi walk, breaking it down to a few simple movements, so that you can get a good idea of that footwork. So I’m just gonna presume that you know your footwork for the Tai Chi walk and we’ll add the stroking the horse’s arms right now. So our starting position with the arms is holding the ball. Yes so
whichever hand you have on top of the ball I want you to put your weight on that same foot. I’d like you to turn your waist to the corner, or turn your whole hips, that whole mid-line should be turning to the corner. Just tap your foot in here. The Tai Chi walk we’re going to put our heel down, toe down and transfer into that bow stance. As we do that move that’s when we want to stroke the horse and hold the mirror. And I want you to twist the waist as we transfer the weight into that bow stance. So you should go from corner here as we hold the ball, to our centre here. Our hands are going to stay here as we rock back as part of that Tai Chi walk, we’re going to turn ourselves to the corner and then as we stand up again, with that transfer of weight, that’s when our arms are moving to hold the ball. And so again whichever hand is on the top of the ball that’s the leg that then has the weight on it.
Let’s do that on the opposite side. My heel is going to go out, toe down ready for my transfer of weight into the bow stance and as I do so I’m going to stroke the horse and hold the mirror. My body is turning from corner to centre and my weight is going from back to front leg ending in my bow stance. I’m going to rock back my weight, hands are staying where they are and then I’m standing up and I’m gonna hold my ball/ Let’s do that again. Heel, toe. Stroke the horse, hold the mirror, rocking back, turn and standing up. And again. Heel, toe, stroke the horse and hold the mirror, rocking back, turn, standing up.
Let’s practice that again, walking towards each other and then I’ll turn around and do it walking back so that you can should be able to follow me and see it from the back as well and that just might help with some of the movement. Our starting position
whichever hand you’ve got on top of the ball is the same leg that we have our weight in. We’re going to heel, toe, stroke the horse, hold the mirror into our bow stance, rocking back, turning and standing up, holding the ball. Heel, toe, stroke that horse and hold the mirror, we’re rocking back, we’re turning and standing up here. So facing the corner, moving that, twisting that waist and
transferring the weight, as the arms are moving and again to the corner and stroking the horse, twisting the waist, transferring the weight to the centre as the arm is moving, we’re rocking back turn into the corner and standing up. Let me turn around so you can see it from the back.
Stroking the horse’s mane or Parting the wild horse’s mane is one of those Tai Chi movements that crops up in quite a few of our Yang style forms. You can progress the movement by really thinking about your posture, your breathing, really getting that transfer of weight, and the grounding of the feet into the floor, that direction of the energy flow and thinking about the martial arts application as well. Lots of different layers to this movement to consider as you get more and more confident with the movement, but I hope that this video has given you the bare bones of that basic move and that will help you enjoy your Tai Chi practice. Take care. Please check out any of the other videos and let me know how you’re going on. I really would like to hear from you. I’ll see you again soon
Hi I’ve had a request to do some more Seated QiGong sessions. So what I thought I’d do is incorporate all of the specific Meridian Qigong exercises. Put them together in a flow but perform it SEATED. This playlist here that will give you a detailed description of each of the QiGong exercises that I’ll be covering. Make sure you’ve got a sturdy chair that’s not going to tip over and you’ve got lots of space around you so you’re not going to knock anything off. Also position yourself on the chair a little bit further forward than you would normally so that you can sit tall, you’re thinking about that elongation, that lifting up from the crown, and that
stretching out up the spine, so we want to hold good posture, core engaged but most importantly we’ve planted our feet flat on the floor. So take them hip width apart if you can, so it’s a good solid foundation there for your feet during the exercises. I’ll take you through the QiGong Lung exercises.
The first one of which is called ‘wild goose flying’. Bringing our hands up to shoulder height here, inhaling as you go, lifting up and opening the chest and then relaxing as the hands are coming down. We can incorporate a heel raise so as the arms are coming up, we’re going to lift our heels off the floor so that the balls of our feet have got the weight in them. Plant them into the floor, really feel that floor underneath you. They’re rising up and bringing them down. Keeping the core engaged will help with your balance while we are sitting here to maintain that lovely posture.
Second exercise is ‘holding the Qi forwards’. Our hands come up forwards, we’re taking them out to the sides, a little squeeze of the shoulder blades here if you can, and an opening of the chest if the shoulders will allow. We’re bringing the hands up and then we’re gonna press down. And when you press down and you’re doing seated exercises really press your feet and your legs into the
floor. So you should be able to feel a little bit resistance there added to the exercise. Hands up, palms facing up, squeeze of the shoulder blades, lift it up and pressing down. Nice big inhale here. Exhale on the effort of that press.
Next exercise is ‘scooping the sea and looking at the sky’. We’re bringing our hands down, if you can incorporate a little bend forward. Just make sure you’re not gonna tip over. Again plant those feet well. We’re lifting up and opening out the chest looking at the sky. Let’s do that again. Doesn’t really matter which hand you have in front as you’re scooping. I tend to alternate mine. If you don’t want to incorporate the body bend then just round the shoulders, keep the arms a bit higher here don’t need to go too far and that helps you keep it within your comfort zone.
Next exercise is ‘sink and stretch to the sides’ Just going to bring the arms up. Cross hands here and then push out to the sides but again when you push, really push your feet into the floor aswell. Engage that core. Scoop it round. Nice inhale here and exhale as we push. I’m pushing my feet into the floor. And push out.
Exercise number five it’s called ‘squeezing the shoulders’. We’re bringing the hands up to chest height here and going to bend the elbows down, turning the hands so the palms are facing each other. Then the idea is that we squeeze the shoulder blades, open the chest and take the shoulders back. Just do this within your own comfort zone and visualize yourself taking this further and if it’s a bit restricted at the moment. So we’re opening the chest. Just lifting the chin a little bit to release that chest. Then we are relaxing and bringing the hands down to go again. Lifting up, dropping the elbows. Expand. All the while trying to keep hold of that posture. Lifting up, dropping the elbows, turning the hands.
Six exercise is ‘holding the book’ The hands are coming up, nice expansion here and then we are slicing through to hold the book. It’s quite a contraction here in the chest and then we’re releasing that to our stretch. We’re bringing it back in, releasing that stretch. Inhale here and exhale on this contraction.
Quick recap on ‘polishing the lungs’ our next exercise. Our hands are coming down and we are bending the body forward. Again make sure those feet are planted on the floor. Turning our hands around so that when they come up the palms are facing upwards. We’re then going to circle them around, behind it’s quite a big opening for the shoulders here, so definitely listen to your own body and then we’re pushing forwards. Let’s go again. Taking them down, scooping them forwards, Lifting high, taking them round the back and pushing forwards. Again you can keep this smaller – don’t bend forward as far and you don’t have to lift as far, you don’t have to come back as far and push forwards. They can be as small all the way through. Definitely lift as high as you can here and visualise yourself doing a much bigger exercise if that helps. Scooping down, scooping back up, lifting high, taking it round and then pushing it forwards. Relaxing and stretching high. Push forwards.
Next exercise is ‘flowing circles’ so I’d like you to take one foot a little bit further forward than the other so that we can transfer our weight from one to the other. Bring in the opposite hand across the body so it’s always pointing on top of the forward leg here. Transfer your weight into that front leg, turn the palm to face out and then follow the hand and we can transfer the weight into this back leg here. Nice flowing circles and you should feel your weight transfer from one side to the other on the chair. Making sure your chair is solid, it’s not going to tip over. Replace that foot and let’s go to the other side. Bring it slightly further forward. Both feet should still be flat on the floor. Bringing this opposite hand on top of this forwards leg and turn in the palm transferring
the weight back and then transferring the weight forwards. Following the hand. Flowing circles. It doesn’t have to be a big movement. You can still feel that transfer of weight that’s really important as part of this exercise we can incorporate a slightly different weight transfer while we’re sitting down.
Moving on to exercise number nine. This is called ‘opening the chest, opening the heart’. Our hands are coming up to shoulder height here, turning the palms and then we’re opening the chest. We’re going to bring those hands back and if you can visualize that you are really pushing them together. Adds a bit of something. Again you can push into the floor here, grounding those feet. And same again on this push down.We’re lifting up, inhaling here, gonna exhale as we expand here, inhale, we bring the hands together and exhale. Keep the posture tall, lifting from the crowd. Next exercise is ‘bear goes swimming’ so just like a breaststroke we’re going to just scoop through that water here with our hands and bring our hands back into our chest here, so that we can go
forwards again. OK I’m incorporating a forward bend here, rounding the shoulders, rounding the back, sucking that belly button
through to the spine, as I am swimming forwards. But again a little modification you can just do it a bit smaller, it doesn’t have to be as big. Keep it nice and within your own comfort zone. That’s been a little recap on all of the ten different QiGong Lung exercises. A lot more detailed descriptions in this playlist up here goes through each one has five videos covering two exercises in each but hopefully you’ve got a good flavour of the bare bones of those exercises.
We’re going to put them together in a QiGong flow. I’m going to do two repetitions of each exercise or one on each side. ‘Wild Goose Flying’ ‘Holding the Qi forwards’ ‘Scooping the Sea, Looking at the sky’ ‘Sink and Push to the Sides’ ‘Squeezing the Shoulders’ ‘Holding the Book’ ‘Polishing the Lungs’ Flowing Circles’ ‘Opening the chest, Opening the lungs’ ‘Bear goes swimming’
Good posture here. Calming the breath. I hope you really enjoyed that Seated Qigong session. Check out some of the other videos and let me know how you’re getting on. Thanks