24 Posture Taijiquan (24 Form Tai Chi)
Cloud Hands (“Wave Hands Like Clouds”)
“Cloud Hands” or “Wave Hands Like Clouds” is one of those movements which seems complicated to students when they first learn it, but then seems very simple and easy. It is also a very beautiful movement and often becomes a favourite movement of students.
Cloud hands can be seen as a complete exercise in itself. When done correctly, Cloud Hands engages every joint in the body and helps to move every part of the body within its ideal dynamic range.
When practising this movement, be sure to apply tai chi principles. Every part moves, but no part moves out of alignment. The knees, for instance, should continue to point in the direction of the toes.
This means that the hips must relax and respect the alignment of the knees.
Also, the waist must twist thoroughly, with the “ming men” open and the small of the back relaxed. If the back is tense, the waist will not twist completely.
The shoulders must sink, and the elbows must drop. Let the arms be carried by the waist and hips. Do not try to do too much with the arms.
The vast number of applications of this movement leads some to claim that this one movement can be a martial art unto itself.