First movement – “Preparation”…
Better not to think of “Preparation” as preparing to begin the form, but rather as preparing to let go of everything else. Allow the day to slip away, prepare to pay attention to only yourself, to your posture, to your weight shift, to your movement and to your stillness. Use the stillness preceding this movement to prepare yourself for your practice and letting go. Scan your body. Let go of tension, Let go of thought. Become aware of any tension and try to allow it to relax. Try not to anticipate the beginning of movement, but instead rejoice in the stillness and empty yourself of thought and expectation. RELAX, settle the weight, relax the knees, allow the tail bone to sink toward the ground, relax the chest (take a deep breath in and release a nice loud sigh!!) feel a gentle string pull the crown of the head upward as though you are attempting to grow a little taller. Relax and let go. Then, when if feels right… begin Preparation…
Start heels together, feet out at the diagonal (appx 90 degrees between feet), whole body facing front wall
1- Shift hips gradually right, sit on your right leg – allow your weight to sink
2- Peel up heel, then the toe, send heel exactly left in line with right heel (do NOT shift weight)
3- Turn waist right to face diagonal, allowing toe to turn (pivoting on heel) to face front wall (do NOT shift weight)
4- Shift weight gradually to sit on left leg, whole body still facing right diagonal
5- Turn waist to face front wall, allowing toe to turn (pivoting on heel) to face front wall (do NOT shift weight)
6- Shift weight gradually to center 50/50 weight on each foot
Feet should end parallel and shoulder width with heels in alignment horizontally.
You will be more deeply sunk than when you begun because you initially sank to step out and should not stand back up with other movements.
Maintain “nose/navel/gaze” alignment throughout movement
Notice the words I have used… “relax”, “allow”, “gradual”, not “make”, “force”, “or pull”. Movements should feel like the ocean, like pouring sand or water, not a metronome, or grandfather clock. Feel as if you are sinking and floating at same time!
Hi Jos, Thank you so much for letting me know! Wow, the Netherlands! I am so happy that you found my website and are finding it helpful!
(shameless plug 😁…) If you ever need a class supplement, take a look at the list of on-demand video courses. These are step-by-step instructed classes, whereas the demo videos are just demonstrations without any instructional information. I find it incredibly enlightening to hear and see different perspectives on the form movements.
Your website is absolutely fabilous. My daugther and I are learning Tai-Chi (in the Netherlands) and although we take lessons , your site is very useful while practising at home.
Many thanks for that.
Very detail explanation of each movements
Thank you so much for taking the time to describe the moves so thoroughly and so clearly. This will be a big help to practicing at home and “grooving” the movements into my brain. You are very clear when you demonstrate the moves in class, as well. I am looking forward to the class in July at Wards Grove.