August 10, 2020
By concentrating on the task in hand you are performing it ‘mindfully’ which if the task is movement orientated can refresh your body and mind.
One of our colleagues Ros has produced some very simple warm up and ongoing movement routines based on Tai Chi principles to give you just that opportunity.
Please feel free to print them off and use for a few moments to de- stress.
Warm Up Exercises
Only perform the exercises that you are happy doing. There should be no pain or strain!
Stand in the best possible upright posture with your feet a shoulder width apart (lightly holding onto a firm support if required) with the head top (the crown) suspended by an imaginary string. The exercises may also be performed in sitting preferably on a firm upright chair.
- Shoulder Rolls – big forward circles then backward circles
- Arms Fling
- Up and down – relaxed alternate arm swing as in marching
- Cross arms over the heart and fling out to the side and back
- Cross arms over the heart and fling arms out on alternate diagonal & back
- Windmill Action – side bend to the right with your weight in your right leg. The left arm goes behind your head, elbow bends so left hand touches the right shoulder blade while the right arm goes behind your back, elbow bends up so the right hand aims to meet the left (or as far as able). Repeat to the left side
- Picking Cherries – pick imaginary cherries , one hand at a time, reach up above your head, reach forward, reach to the left and then to the right.
- Finger Flicking – make a fist, then open and spread your fingers out (repeat)
- Making ‘O’s with your thumb touching each finger in turn
- Shake your hands out as though shaking off water
- ‘Turning the Millstone’ – Turn waist right then left, keep your pelvis level and your knees aligned over the centre of your feet and allow your arms to loosely wrap around your body as you Imagine that your spine is the axle and your pelvis the millstone. Keep your head up and look at the horizon not the floor!
- Waist Circles – (big circles, then small) – one way then change direction
- Figure of Eight Circles (around the feet) – one way then change direction
Hips, Knees and Ankles
- Skiing Downhill Action – both arms swing as you bend your hips & knees
- Marching on the Spot
- Stand on One Leg (holding onto a firm support if needed), then with one leg at a time
- Ankle, up and down,
- Ankle circles, one way then change direction
- Shake your foot as though shaking mud off your shoe
Tai Chi Seated Exercises
Just perform the exercises that you are happy doing. There should be no pain or strain!
Sit on a stable chair, away from the back of the chair if you are able, in the best possible upright posture with the head top (the crown) suspended by an imaginary string. Make sure that your feet a shoulder width apart with the soles flat on the floor and your hands resting palm down on your thighs. The breath is natural you should breathe at your own rate.
Perform the exercises very slowly and feel the sensations of the body as you move. Repeat up to 8 – 10 times.
- Picking Cherries – pick imaginary cherries, one hand at a time, reach up above your head, reach forward, reach to the right then left
- Waterfall – Allow your arms to float slowly up and then down in front of you. The movement is like placing a towel on the beach
- Spring and Autumn – Allow your arms to lift, up and out to the sides as though giving someone a big warm hug. Slowly let them drift back in and down.
Trunk Exercises – Forward and back
- The Swing – Rock slowly forward and back as though you are on a swing.
- Rowing a Boat – Rock as in ‘The Swing’ with your arms out to the side and circle your arms as though your arms are moving like the oars of a boat
- Turtle Swims in the Ocean – forward: arms like breaststroke action, backward: arms like butterfly stroke action. Reverse the direction of the arm circle. Palms up, shoulders rotate in and arms circle behind body.
Turning to the side – Repeat to both sides.
- The Swing + Turn to side – Rock forward and turn to the side, rock back.
- Wax On, Wax Off– as above but add in an arm wave to the side. Right hand waves to the right, left hand waves to the left.
Circles – Perform both clockwise and anticlockwise
- ‘Mr Wobbly Man’ or ‘Roly-poly toy’ – Circling the body
- ‘Polishing the Pearl’ – Hands rest in front of the body on an imaginary table, the trunk circles and moves the hands, as though you are polishing a pearl
Leg Exercises –
- Step and Bounce the Ball – Allow your opposite arm and leg to float up and down as though you are stepping and bouncing a ball in slow motion
- Kick with Sole – Stretch your leg out and lift your foot up as though you are opening a door with the sole and heel of your foot. Repeat with your other leg.
- Closing the Chi – Holding your hands palm up in front of you, scoop up imaginary warm, sunshine and pour the sunshine over your head. As you feel the warmth and light pour down the front, back and sides of your body slowly release the muscles in your face, neck, shoulders, chest, abdomen, hips, knees and ankles. Repeat up to eight times and then sit quietly for a few moments. Gently stretch and return to your daily activities.
Good luck and remember to breathe!