Stage 3 – Hints and Tips

Stage 3 starts to work with the higher energy balanced by the heart rather than the earth. It opens up the third eye and crown. The energy remains very balanced and the energy is lowered again by the end of stage 3. Being well balanced Stage 3 remains a good place to stop.

Tai Chi Circle
Good footwork here, the right foot moves first as the right hand is extended to the front, reach out with the hand to draw the chi towards the heart. Then the left foot moves, one of the few times in the form when you turn on the heel. It is as though the hands are painting a picture of a tai chi circle in the air. The left hand draws the left side of the circle, then as the right hand rises to draw the right side, the left hand comes down to draw the curved centre line.

Pillars in the Sky
Right hand above the crown touching the light, left hand touching earth. Creating a column through the centre of the body.

Point Down to the Ocean
One of the trickiest moves in the whole of the form to get smooth and flowing with the right movement. Perhaps best broken down.
1. Slight turn left and sink, small kick and heel goes down. Now as you roll your weight onto the left foot the right hand draws the energy down to the earth and the left hand lifts the earth to the heart. As the right hand passes the right leg, the leg moves with the hand. Left foot full, right foot empty.
2. Right hand draws up and feels as though it is pulling the right leg like a puppet, left hand pushes down, feel the chi pass between the hands. Right leg kicks and heel goes down, foot is pointing to the front.
3. Now shifting the weigh onto the right foot, the left hand dips down into the earth and lifts the energy up to the heart, drawing up the left leg as it does. The right hand pushes further down into the earth. This is a strong energetic position, like having a huge column of energy between the hands.

Rainbow Rising
The hands are touching the water and draw the water across the heart to create a rainbow. The curved arm forms part of the arc of the rainbow, the rest is drawn in the air as the arm sweeps across. As you step right keep the weight left and then shift the weight to the right, rising slightly to create the rainbow. Try to keep the stance strong and low. The fist of the right hand should be at third eye level, the left hand at the heart. Draw in to pull the chi into the heart centre and the ward off, opening the heart centre. Repeat to the left.

Stand on the Mountain Top
Alignment but on one foot. Step back with the right foot , keeping the right hand at the heart and left hand sweeping to take hold of the chi at the heart.

Offer the light, Dragon Extends Tail and Eagle Stance
The movement is the same as the end of stage 1 and start of stage 2 with the same qualities.

Eagle Lands
Turn right, right heel goes down and shift the weight onto the right foot. The left foot turns and then the right foot to bring the body facing the front. The right hand pushes up and the left hand pushes down as if holding an iron bar with a fulcrum as the heart.

Phoenix Rising
For me the key move of stage 3, reaching up to the light, balanced by the heart energy. The fingertips of the upper hand should be directly above the crown, the lower hand holds the heart energy in the palm. As you turn draw the crown energy down to the heart. The stance should be strong, well grounded, to remain balanced. The energy remains yang throughout the movement even as you bring the fire down across the heart.

Water Movement
Now the whole movement becomes yin. As you start the hands come lower. The attention in now yin, eyes looking down to lower the chi. Lovely flowing movement. As you step place the feet well to keep physical balance and turn the weight gradually onto the standing foot. All the energy down by solar plexus / tan tien.

Extend the hook / Sweep Dragon’s wing
As at the end of stage 2

End of stage 3