Tai Chi Workshops by Angie Wood


by Angie Wood

Within each movement of the Lee family style there is

A health aspect, from 1 to 140 the breath is brought in on all the odd numbers and out on all the even numbers which gives each movement a rhythm, so using the breath to control the energy through the body keeping the organs fit and healthy,

A spiritual aspect, which are the words of each set 1 to 42, using them as a mantra which are the spiritual and philosophy, giving each set a meaning,

A martial art aspect, which are the movement from one stance to the next stance using various techniques with the hands to protect your body-mind from an attack, together this gives us meditation in motion.

In the Lee family style of T’ai Chi Ch’uan we have a set form of movements that is called the “The Short Open Hand Form” which is made up of 50 movements, these are broken down into 15 sets each with a particular set of words or mantras, within those sets of between 2 and 5 movements are 13 stances and 7 hand positions.

In each module we start with the etiquette which is a salutation that we do at the beginning of every practice session.

During our practice we keep the body mind relaxed, soft without been sloppy strong without been hard. We wear comfortable flat soled shoes without heels and no laces, trousers with elasticated cuffs and waist, comfortable loose top with 3/4 length sleeves so the body can move with no restrictions and your physic does not show, letting go of all ego.

Then we move on with learning or I like to say teach yourself the warm up,
This is done at the beginning of each module by relaxing the body getting to know each and every muscle in the body, noticing any stiff areas and the soft and relaxed areas and only taking our body as far is comfortable for this moment in time not worrying about what it could do last time or the expectations what it may be able to do next time, just enjoying this moment in time.
Taking notice of our breath within the warm-up, softening and expanding it.

Study various aspects of the golden principles and techniques of the Lee family style.

Then we will look at the stances we need for the part of the form for which we are going to practice, understanding the weaknesses and strength within each stance, noticing how we feel in each stance by relaxing the body-mind.

Understand how to connect and ground yourself with the earth below you using the three key points of contact with the earth, which are the ball of the small toe, the ball of the large toe and the edge of the heel. Keeping our body upright and balanced so the hips sit above the feet, the shoulders sit above the hips with our spine relaxed and loose connecting the two together, the head sits square above the shoulders with the eyes looking straight forwards into the near distance so we do not have our head buried in the sand or floating in the clouds.
We can feel and connect with our internal Chi energy and the external li energy.

So I am warmed up, in control of the breath, I have got to know the stances, I am relaxed, grounded and balanced feeling my internal Chi energy and external Li energy.

Ready for what is to come

The short open hand form, those Gentle Flowing Movements.