When I was in Amherst last weekend, a student asked me which form would be the right one to perform, the high stance, or low stance form.
Actually, we have mainly three different stances for Yang Style Tai Chi, the high stance, medium stance and low stance. Usually we recommend that beginners concentrate on the medium stance. The higher stance will help you with relaxation. Your legs are like the root of a tree. The lower stance will help you gain energy and strength and strengthen your root. For people who don’t have a lot of flexibility and need to relax more, I recommend that he/she do the high stance form once and then do the medium high stance form next. Once you’ve become more relaxed, you can try to go on to the medium stance. Once you also feel relaxed with medium stance form, you can try to start doing the lower stance form.
It’s a mistake to go from the lower stance to the higher stance in the same form. For example: when beginners do “Repulse the Monkey”, they tend to go up and down. Staying at the same height in the same form is required. When a student had his butt come out while trying to do the lower form, I recommended that he stay in the high form to tuck the butt in and keep the body vertical to the ground. When the butt is out it’s hard to gather Qi/energy to your Dan Tian (Red Field acupuncture point).
Copyright by Huan's Tai Chi '09