Silk reeling is the principal method of movement within Chen Tai Chi. It is considered the essence of Tai Chi as a whole and helps develop health, relaxation, and martial abilities. Silk reeling exercises involve continuous rounded and spiral movements utilising the whole body. The continuous movements loosen the joints and develop relaxation, efficiency of movement, and whole body power.
The key to practising silk reeling correctly is to allow the whole body to move from the centre of the body (the dantien). The attributes gained from silk reeling practice are applicable to everything in Tai Chi. Mastering silk reeling is mastering Tai Chi. If you have the time, it's always worth practising silk reeling whenever you practice Tai Chi. Through doing this you will gain a holistic understanding of your own body's movement and what to work on next.
This unit looks at the basic "cloud hands" exercise, from which all other silk reeling exercises are derived.