The Waves and Clouds Form

Listed below is the full sequence of the Waves and Clouds Qigong set we teach at Longwater Tai Chi. We sometimes skip a difficult movement if it is appropriate to do so in the class. If you would like to practice the full set at home do not forget to check out our DVD, available for sale on the videos page.

Although there are breathing techniques with each of the movements we do not discuss them here, as breath is a complex subject and it is easy to misinterpret instructions for using the breath. In the beginning just relax and breathe normally.

Preparation - Stand like a post

Basic description: Stand quietly and create your physical alignments.
Health benefits:  By not moving we begin the process of becoming mindful to our bodies.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
same

1. Making Waves (Raising the Arms)

Basic description: Raise arms parallel stretching open, then lower them bending into the legs.
Health benefits: Upper/lower body coordination - connecting Qi, activating kidneys.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
 Commencement.

2. Forming Clouds (Opening the Chest)

Basic description: Like move 1 but extending the stretch by opening the arms forward and to the side.
Health benefits: Extends Qi flow from move 1. Relaxes chest, strengthens heart and lungs.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
 Elements of Open/Close in Sun style.

3. Painting the Rainbow

Basic description: Change weight and turn away from the weighted leg. Hands sweep from side to side like windscreen wipers.
Health benefits: Extends Qi away from the body. Strengthens internal organs and aids digestion.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
 High Pat on Horse. Elements of Snake Creeps Down.

4. Lift and Separate Clouds

Basic description: Continuous circling of hands, scooping to the middle and separating to the sides.
Health benefits:  Lower/upper body connection. Flushes Qi through heart, lung and pericardium channels.
Qigong equivilent:
Eight Brocade / Neigong movement.

5. Gather and Roll the Clouds Away
(Roll the Arms, Twist the Waist)

Basic description: Turn to the side as one arm pushes forward as the other sweeps back.
Health benefits: Alleviates headaches, migraine via liver and gall bladder channels.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
Repulse Monkey, Yang and Chen style.

6. Rowing in the Middle of the Lake

Basic description: Arms circle like butterfly swimming stroke, or the oars of a boat, as you bend and stretch.
Health benefits: Kidney and bladder function, nervous system release.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
 Eight Brocade / Neigong. Elements of Wu style White Crane Spreads Wings.

7. Lift Cloud and Release

Basic description: Push down one hand to lift the other, drawing up on heels than sinking.
Health benefits: Coordination and twisting of the tissue. Supporting the internal organs.
Qigong equivilent:
Cloud Hands neigong.

8. Gazing at the Moon

Basic description: Shift weight and turn, raising the arms together to look slightly backwards.
Health benefits: Driving from the legs; articulating the hip, waist, head and eyes. Also move 7.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
 Fair Maiden Weaves Shuttles, particularly Chen style.

9. Push Clouds and Turn
(Pull out Palms, Turn the Waist)

Basic description: Extend alternate arms in front of you then turn from side to side.
Health benefits: Cross coordination and timing, using waist to carry arms. Strong Qi flow in lower body affecting bowels and digestion.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
Lazy about Tying Coat, Chen Style / elements of Repulse Monkey.

10. Hands Playing with Clouds

Basic description: Hold a ball as you turn from side to side, exchanging hands.
Health benefits: Cross coordination and timing, using waist to carry arms. Very mediative and relaxing.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
Wave Hands like Clouds.

* Soap Bubble Form *

Basic description: an interlude of play.
Health benefits: Learning to loosen the wrists, elbows and shoulders, and move with the legs.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
Hold the Ball - all forms have this as a transition movement.

11. Scooping up the Sea

Basic description: as move 4 with weight change forward and back. Gaze up as you sit back.
Health benefits: Expands Qi in the chest; strengthens heart and lungs. Reduces depression.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
as move 4, plus bow stance weight change.

12. Pushing the Waves

Basic description: Lift toe and heel as you move back and forth, palms follow inside of barrel keeping extension.
Health benefits: Kidney and bladder function via water imagery.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
Grasp Birds Tail - Push.

13. Flying Dove Spreads its Wings

Basic description: Lift toe and heel as you move back and forth, arms remain extended to side and sweep forward and back.
Health benefits:  Expands Qi in the chest; strengthens heart and lungs. Reduces depression.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent: 

14. Punch Forward

Basic description: Like move 9 but hands form loose fists.
Health benefits: 
As move 9, plus strengthening of defensive Qi.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
Punch.

15. Wild Goose Flies

Basic description: Feet parallel as you bend and stretch lowering and lifting arms to side. Optionally lift heels.
Health benefits: Leg and arm coordination, learning moderation.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
 Sideways Peng in Wu style Ward Off Left.

16. Turn like a Water Wheel

Basic description: Like move 1 but turning waist and changing weight using the legs.
Health benefits: Bowel and liver function. Strongly moves Qi to the hands.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
Wu style White Crane Spreads its Wings.

17. Stepping and Bouncing Ball

Basic description: Lift opposite hand and leg as you change weight, optionally raising heel.
Health benefits: Cross coordination and balance.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent:
 Elements of Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg.

18. Balancing the Qi

Basic description: Gently raise and lower your hands along the left and right channels.
Health benefits:
Calms the mind and integrates all the other movements.
Tai Chi Chuan equivilent: End FormEight Brocade / Neigong.

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