Jan 20, 2018
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5 Element Yang Taiji form front view

The 5 Element Yang-style Taiji form is one of the basic introductory forms that has lasted throughout the ages.
To be known as a 5 element form in the Taiji world you must have a form that repeats some basic moves on each of the compass points.

The Yang-style 5 Element Taiji form repeats the 4 Essential Actions on each of the compass points with Earth being considered the center, beginning and end of it. This concept is at the core of the 5 Element theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Taiji is the set of martial/self-defense exercises within a larger set of exercises called qigong. They comply with qigong principles of healing but embody the ability to defend oneself.
However, since they are qigong in heritage, they align with principles of TCM.

In this case, I refer to the concept from the 5 Element theory that says all the compass points have connections to healing certain organs and anything done in accordance with these principles which encompasses the five elements (Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, & Fire).

This Yang-style 5 Element Taiji form beings with mental focus on center, and we usually start it by performing the wuji stance connecting us with Earth. If we are facing north, as is normal for doing Taiji, we simply turn our mental focus to center, and to grounding and connecting with Earth which helps strengthen our stomach and spleen while doing our prep/wuij stance. It also helps if you can visualize yourself being surrounded by the pale yellow/brown of earth.
We then turn to the West and perform the 4 Essential actions. According to TCM, facing west while doing any qigong exercise connects us with metal, which helps strengthen our lungs and large intestines. The color to imagine yourself eveloped by here is white. Since the element is metal, I like to picture platinum or white gold.

Once finished with the 4 Essential actions facing this west, we turn 180 degrees to our right, to face east and repeat the actions. Facing east connects us with wood which helps strengthen our liver and gallbladder. Picture yourself in a grove of trees just starting to blossom in spring with that light green color.

Then we turn 90 degrees too our left to face North where we again perform the 4 Essential actions. Facing north connects us with water, and helps strengthen our kidneys and urinary bladder. Picture yourself immersed in the deep blue/black of the ocean to help strengthen the effects of this exercise.

Then we again turn 180 degrees to our right to face south. Facing south connects us with fire and helps strengthen our heart and small intestines. The color for this element is usually a nice rosy red.

Once finished with the 4 Essential actions facing south we turn 180 degrees to our left to finish the set facing north but our focus and intent are once again facing inward and connecting with earth. We again think of being surrounded by the pale yellow/brown of earth.

A completion meditation on the wuji stance to connect again with earth is recommended.

Article Categories:
5 Element Form Wudang
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