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NO.2 – Open the Chest While Riding a Horse

Tai Ji Quan Yi Symbol

Number 2 – Open the Chest While Riding a Horse

Stand a shoulder width apart hands by your side. When you have completed your preparation raise the arms in an arc to the front at mid-chest height, the palms should almost touch which makes them in a yang position. Always start by exhaling to the start position and inhaling as the exercise begins.

The movement continues by bending the knees and hips as though beginning to sit down, keeping the back as straight as possible. While you are bending the knees and hips, open the arms as though you are holding a huge ball in front of the body (see demo), the wrists are now yin.

If you are sensitive to sensations when practising Thunder (standing post), you may feel that same sensation as you open the arms to stretch the chest. When the movement is completed, return in the same way inhaling as you so. The stretch will be felt in the pectoral muscles, but please don’t take the arms behind the shoulder line, thinking maybe to enhancing the exercise – this is not the aim.

Obviously don’t overexert yourself, start with a set of 6 in each of the three postures, 18 in all.

The other two postures 6 each side are in a bow stance, starting with the left foot forward shoulder width apart, as you step into the bow stance bring the arms around and exhale as before. The hip action is very much like the preparatory exercise the Pecking Rooster. As you push hips backwards and are opening the arms, inhale. The aim is to keep the hips retreating straight back, endeavour not to transfer too much weight to the trailing leg which should be open and not closed in.



  • Relaxing the chest muscles help with breathing difficulties.
  • Reduces blood pressure.
  • Has a powerful effect on heart conditions and helps with sleeping problems.

Hold in mind to take your time in everything including your practise. Internal scanning is an important element for training, it is the feeling you’re after not an intellectual battle of I’ve done my 36 now what.