Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 457

5 Animals

The earliest movements upon which Tai Chi Chuan is based is the Five Animals Frolic. The five animals are: tiger, bear, deer, monkey, and stork. Each of these animals has its own unique ways of working with and expressing energy. These various energies can make your form practice more fun, expressive, and lively if you explore them.

Think about one of these animals and how it moves and acts. Do a little research if you don’t know and you want to make it more real. Then do the form as if you were this animal doing Tai Chi and see if you can focus just on this animal’s energy throughout the entire form. Play with this and have fun. Then do the other animals. How are they different? Similar?

After exploring the Five Animals, try other creatures like fish, birds, reptiles, etc. How about a tree, rock, wind, water, anything you can imagine. I guarantee your form will improve, your desire to practice increase, and your spiritual energy strengthen. Your powers of observation will grow, as will your feelings of unity with others. Enjoy your journey and have fun.