Origin of Tai Chi: 4. White Crane Opens it’s Wings

Reading:

Close Reading:

Energy is stored as the arms close in the first part of this movement; then you let it out as you spread your hands as though they were wings. Open your arms, stretch the right arm up and the left arm down as a crane would move to spread its wings. As you stand with arms spread out you are particularly aware of the energy at the top of your head pulling you up; of course, you are always aware of this energy, but you are especially aware of it in this move.

During the Han dynasty the physician-surgeon Hua Tuo designed the Five Animal Exercises, based on the motions of five animals. One of these therapeutic and preventative physical fitness exercise series was “The White Crane.”

The crane is a strong bird associated with the Immortals. Legend says that the crane is 1000 years old when it becomes white; and legend says that other birds, when they seek spiritual attainment, also become white.

Level 1: Paraphrasing-

State in your own words the meaning of each sentence.

This move begins with with the arms moving close to each other to save energy. Next, you open your hands like wings which releases the saved energy. Your arms open. Your right arm goes up and left arm goes down. You become a crane opening its wings! As you stretch pay attention to how you are being being pulled up by the energy above your head. Your goal is to always be aware of your energy. This move is good for energy awareness practice.

Hua Tuo was a doctor and surgeon during the Han dynasty and he created “Five Animal Exercises” by watching and copying the moves of five different animals. One of these preventative care physical exercises was “The White Crane.”

The crane has strength that is directly related to what is eternal. In folklore when the crane reaches 1000 years old it becomes sacred and pure, and turns white. In folklore, other birds also turn white when they become pure.


Level 2: Explicating-

  1. State the main point.
    • The White Crane is a sacred Tai Chi move that moves your energy in a way that prevents sickness.
  2. In other words….
    1. When you practice the White Crane you improve your energy and health.
  3. For example…
    • As you stretch during the White Crane, concentrate on how you are being pulled up by the energy above your head.


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