Tai Chi for Knee Power and Strength

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These slow, meditative movements are designed to gather your inner energy, and then percolate it through your body. Your attention is drawn inward so you can become aware of your inner energy and feel it circulating. These moves increase body strength, as well as upper body agility and coordination. As you flow from one move to the next, imagine blood surging through your body leaving feeling energized and relaxed.

 

Directions: do the first move 4 times. Then do the next 3 moves as sequence; repeat 4-6 times, alternating sides each time, while breathing slowly and easy. Remember to take your time with each step.

 

  1. Sinking the chi. Stand with feet hip-width apart, body weight balanced over feet, arms relaxed by sides. Bend knees slightly, letting pelvis chop and buck (neutral position). Inhale; let arms flow to shoulder height, elbows relaxed, palms up. Now, bend your elbows, so palms are at forehead height, then pass arms straight down it front of you. Repeat 4 times.

 

  1. Embrace the moon. In neutral position, inhale and hold an imaginary ball as you bring right heel toward left ankle, ball of right foot on the ground, right knee bent and turned out to the side (T-step)

 

  1. Part Horse’s Mane. From embrace the moon, exhale and step sideways with your right foot; then bent into a lunge right knee in line with ankle, right foot turned out at 90 degrees; left foot, 45 degrees (feet are separated a little wide than shoulder-width apart). At the same time, extend right arm in front of chest, elbow curved with palm upward. Press left hand in front of left thigh, flexing wrist up, palm flat; keep left elbow slightly curved.

 

  1. Brush knee and push right. From part horse’s mane, inhale and rock backwards as if to sit on left leg with all of your body weight; keep left knee out and lift right toes. At the same time, lift elbow so palm is by forehead and fold right arm across chest, palm down. Exhale, shift forward into another lunge, pushing left and forward, palms facing out as you press right hand down toward the outside of your right leg.

 

To reverse the sequence, from the Horse’s Mane, rock backward and rotate torso to face front, body weight balanced over left heel. Shift weight to right foot and Embrace the Moon, this time with right hand on top of the left and left for in a T-step. Repeat sequence on left side.