What would it feel like to touch the clouds and then gather its energy in your hands?
Tai Chi is a mindful movement that pairs breathwork with a meditative movement that can be relaxing, restoring and energizing. The Tai Chi cloud hands movement form is a common postural exercise that uses dynamic movement to develop the back muscles, relax the neck and shoulders, and increase blood flow and the movement of “qi” (energy) within the body.
By imagining that we are touching the clouds, we deepen our ability to relax into Tai Chi forms. These movements help us remember certain aspects of the practice, like the graceful movement of the hands as if we were dipping into and moving the clouds with our hands.
This video is appropriate for beginners who have limited experience with Tai Chi as well as those who have practiced before. The practice begins one arm at a time, then two, performed in a chair to start, and finally standing to build the skill and allow for different experience and ability levels.
Follow along with Roger Currier, a recreation therapist and certified applied Tai Chi instructor from the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Florida, as he instructs participants in an 18-minute video practice of “Cloud Hands Tai Chi.”
If you want more Tai Chi, click here for Roger’s introduction and warm-up videos: https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/99438/live-whole-health-107-tai-chi-warmup/.
Tai Chi and qigong are very safe exercises, though some people may experience minor muscle aches and pains from using muscles that haven’t been exercised in a while. Therefore, it is important to listen to and care for your body when doing these movements. If you feel Tai Chi or qigong will help you achieve your health care goals, set aside time to practice. As with any activity, regular practice is what allows for better health.
Tai Chi is one of the evidence-based complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches within the VHA Whole Health System of care included in the Veteran’s medical benefits package when considered clinically necessary. Ask your local Whole Health team about whether classes are available at your local VA medical center.
Are you interested in learning more about Tai Chi? Read more here: IntroTaiChiQigong__Final508_07-25-2019.pdf (va.gov).