Shortly after writing Jiangan - the Chinese Health Wand, I created a moving set of postures using a stick of the same dimensions. The resulting form is called the Tai Chi Boating Wand. Just like Tai Chi the movement are gentle and the body is constantly in motion, flowing from posture to posture with deliberate stepping.
The Tai Chi Boating Wand involves `hand tasking', coordination and focus skills as the practitioner wields the bamboo pole. These hand-eye coordinated elements offer similar benefits to exercising using traditional Chinese weapons forms. Movements are highly coordinated with breathing and mindful attention.
The Tai Chi Boating Wand is essentially a set of graceful postures embodying the concept of Tai Chi.
Expansion and Breathing
The wand is held in an expansive wide grip throughout most of the form, opening the chest (which, coordinated with deep diaphragmatic breathing improves lung capacity). The gentle movements also gradually loosens the shoulders, stretches the arms and entire back.
Spiral and Circular Movement
Most of the postures involve spiral and circular patterns that gently massage and twist the spine and internal organs.
Peaceful and Relaxing
Unlike Tai Chi weapons forms, the postures are non-martial and have no fighting focus. They imitate traditional boating movements such as rowing, punting and turning rudders. The practitioner is taken on a challenging and interesting "journey" through a visionary landscape of rivers, lakes and gorges.
This form of exercise is gentle on the lower back, hips and legs (especially the knees) as there is no bending, single-leg-weighted postures, squats or kicks. We never place more than 50% of our weight onto the front leading leg, which reduces strain on the knees.
While Tai Chi is performed with awareness on the fighting applications, the Tai Chi Boating Wand stresses non-martial movements such as rowing, punting and steering a rudder. We embark on a more peaceful mental journey through rivers, gorges and lakes, using mental imagery to create the sounds, aromas and sights of boating in peaceful surroundings. This makes the Tai Chi Boating Wand the ultimate art of mindfulness within moving meditation.