Tai Chi Teacher and sometimes writer
That's Laurelae Oehler doing Yang 24 atop a NH mountain; she's in the upper level class at the Bugbee Center. Amazing, don't you think?
Here's a list of the different movements in Yang 24--the "short, simplified" form based on traditional tai chi and formulated in the 1950s by Beijing Sports University.
1. Commencing form
2. Parting wild horse's mane—left, right, and left
3. White crane flashing wings
4. Brush knee—right, left, right
5. Playing the lute
6. Repulse monkey—right, left, right, left
7. Stroking bird's tale—left
8. Stroking bird's tale—right
9. Single whip
10. Waving hands like clouds (3 times)
11. Single whip
12. High horse
13. Heel kick right
14. Punching ears with both fists
15. Turn and heel kick left
16. Lower movement and golden cock standing on one leg—left
17. Lower movement and golden cock standing on one leg—right
18. Fair lady works at shuttles—right, left
19. Needle at sea bottom
20. Fan back
21. Turn to deflect downward, parry and punch
22. Apparent closing up
23. Cross hands
24. Closing form
Once learned, Yang 24 takes about 5 minutes to perform.
As we learn the forms, we may make some small adjustments to suit our own bodies, but that is a healthy system to use. If you're watching Dr. Paul Lam's Yang 24 DVD, you may see minor differences between his way of teaching and mine, but overall the forms will be very similar. In Yang 24, we don't have “follow steps” the way that they occur in Sun form (tai chi for arthritis is based on Sun), but there are places where the unweighted foot touches the ground before moving on.
Remember: This is YOUR class, YOUR tai chi, YOUR body. Always stay within your comfort level as we learn and practice and be sure to let me know of any difficulties or questions you have.
Yang 24 Forms is the most popular tai chi form around the world right now. This particular form of Yang style tai chi was created in 1956, when the Chinese National Sports Committee asked four famous tai chi experts to devise a short, simplified form.
There are other Yang styles as well: Yang 40, Yang 108, Guang Ping Yang, etc. All are characterized by slow gentle movements that are quite large, a medium stance, and a stress on coodination of upper and lower body dynamics.