During my retreat in Marina Del Rey, California at Creative Chakra Spa I had the opportunity to meet Tai Chi Instructor, Jordan Ross Allen. I asked him to demonstrate a pose and he chose to share with us a lesson on “cloud hands”. Cloud Hands is one of the poses that is the foundation of the practice of Tai Chi. Review the following description then practice along to the video below.
The “cloud hands” move is common in qigong patterns, warms ups and tai chi forms. There are many variations; some are static and others are moving exercises where you side step as your hands do the cloud hands moves. The static variations is a great home qigong exercise if you don’t have a lot of space.
The variations tend to be in the path that hands take – sometime it is a single circle with the hands tracing the path clockwise with the right hand and anticlockwise with the left. Other patterns use overlapping or just barely touching circles. At home you get to pick your favorite.
The other major variation is how the hands and palms are positioned. Yang style tai chi has soft hands where the hands can face the body and Sun style tai chi has palms that always face 12:00 because they are bent at the wrist.
It looks like you are drawing rounded rectangles with your arms. With one hand going clockwise and the other going anti clockwise!.
- co-ordination really does improve as you get to grips with turning the waist and changing the hand positions
- a great exercise for stress relief and insomnia – stops the mind racing with all the things you have to do at home or the office
- strengthens the back muscles as you do your turns from the waist
- the gentle turns of the neck relieve tension in the neck and shoulders and increase mobility
Take a few minutes a follow this video for the Tai Chi lesson on “Cloud Hands” with instructor Jason Ross Allen: