Tai Chi Chi Series: Daughter in the Valley
DAUGHTER IN THE VALLEY
Daughter in the Valley can be a very powerful move, evoking the circle of life itself, and can bring feelings of joy and contentment. The emotional effect as the hands follow the body’s energy shift and they rise together in the first part of the move is entirely different from that we feel as the body moves backward and the hands float around and down in the second half. I find myself thinking of fireworks and the difference between the dull metal canister of deadly explosives which suddenly becomes the beautiful blossom of light, gently drifting downward. Yin and Yang. Some people think of growing plants. You don’t have to try to think of anything but what you are doing and what it feels like.
We begin as always with the heels together and the weight equally distributed on both feet, the hands resting on clouds of air in front of our t’an t’ien. The center of gravity shifts entirely to the right side and the hands rise to the sides, similar to Daughter on the Mountaintop, but this time with the palms facing away from the body, wrists open, fingertips up. The elbows rest at the waist.
Then the left foot steps out, the left knee bends a bit more and the center of gravity starts to shift over the left foot. This causes the hands to circle down until they almost touch (as though separated by a 3-4” bubble). The weight continues to shift to the left and forward while the hands rise together, up the center line of the body and the face. When the weight is entirely over the left foot and the right leg is straight because you have moved away from it, the back (right) leg bends and the back heel drops, the hands break apart, and as the body shuttle backward and to the right, the hands descend in arcs until they return to the starting place, and gracefully turn over into the original position, always following the rate of the body’s movement.
Again, this is usually done three to nine times on each side.
Carol Selby teaches Tai Chi Chih every Thursday at East Wellbeing & Tea from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. To sign up for her class click here.