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Loosen Up

by: Fernando Bernall

We are now on our second month of the current Taiji class. I am very pleased with the commitment I see from the students in this class and inspires me to improve in my own practice and hopefully share what I discover in my own journey. I thank you for this.

I would like to point your attention to a video on the Song Shen Wu Fa or Five Loosening Exercises created by Grand Master Huang Xingxiang. It would behoove each of you to learn more about this great master and one of his numerous teachers Professor Zheng Man Qing. I’ve created a website for the latter and you can view it here at: ZhengManQing.com

I want you to understand that the way Grand Master Huang moves in the video below, is not something that one can just mimic. Please remember that the smooth flow of his movement took years of practice both in meditative arts and daily practice of tai chi. My take is that beginners need to use more swing from the waist and shoulders to learn to let go of unnecessary muscular tension and only with time and daily practice will the speed and size of the swing decrease.  Also, please pay attention to the way GM Huang lowers his body to perform the fourth exercise. I will elaborate more on this during class.

I would like to point out that there are several body transformations taking place simultaneously and sequentially during our classes. The Song Shen Wu Fa exercises are helping us to become freer in our motion as we move through space. While the Silk Reeling Cocoon or Chan Si Gong, are teaching us to move as one unit in a spiral fashion with the added benefit of improving joint health and increasing range of motion. The Standing Meditation or Zhan Zhuang, is teaching us to align our self better to gravity.

Becoming a Tai chi practitioner is a process. One that gradually changes the way we use the body as well as changing the body itself. Frankly, there are times in which the undertaking of this study, makes us wish we’ve had our minds examined. It doesn’t take long before the honeymoon is over and the real work in keeping our relationship to this art alive takes its toll at times. I don’t mean to scare anyone. Just telling it like it is. So don’t dismay. Result will appear and will become obvious as you move about your daily activities.

Here’s a link to the file containing the Silk Reeling Cocoon exercises. It is two files. Download and print.

I want to hear your comments. Please understand that to combat spam, I moderate the comments, so your thoughts may not appear right a way..
Also, be sure to press the “like” button on our Facebook page. It is on the right of this post.

See you all in class..



thank you for the video of this teaching!
see you this morning…....

Posted by Bob & Janet  on  02/11  at  10:04 AM

After reading your article and viewing Master Huang Xingxiang video I became inspired and did a search,  in search for more information on the Master.  I found this interview published by the Northern School of Taiji in Northeast England titled “13 Q&A by Master Huang Sheng Shyan”.  Very cool… I hope you don’t mind me sharing the link with the school.

Thank you Fernando for taking the time..


Posted by Debra Siewert  on  02/12  at  12:58 PM

Thanks for the video. I’ll try to work it in with my regular taiji warm ups

Posted by Rich  on  02/13  at  06:48 PM

Glad you all liked the video and wish to incorporate it into your daily routines. Just remember that there are principles to be garnered into our bodies from these exercises that go beyond a warm up. In a way they prepare your body to be like a flag in the wind.

Posted by Fernando  on  02/14  at  09:19 AM
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