Tai Chi Y2D194: horse stance

It’s easy to forget to add horse stance to one’s practice. Everything about it screams, “forget me!”. It’s uncomfortable. It’s below the waist. It can be hard on knees and ankles. Sometimes (like today) it hurts. Forgetfulness is easy when it comes to this posture.


But it makes so many other things easy. When I spread my feet widely enough, and bend my knees deeply enough, the twists in the two forms of Bend the Bow (to shoot the hawk) suddenly become upper body workouts. The Downward Punches are delivered with force from the flanks, rather than delicately by the arms. The toe touches become more difficult, to be sure… But the workout is better by far.

And most of all, the overall body challenge becomes appropriate. It’s a natural progression from the relative ease of the base lineup of postures, to the more difficult iteration of the same postures with heavily bent knees.

Liked it? Take a second to support Andrew on Patreon!


  1. Something that might help you with horse stance is the button and zipper, which is really something everyone should try and think about throughout the day whatever they are doing. You want to create a neutral spine and a tucked pelvis. Most people believe they are doing this but usually are not. So to make sure you’re engaging fully, think about your belly button as a literal button that attaches close to the spine. Draw it in like you are buttoning it and you will experience your pelvis moving into the correct position. This usually has the effect of drawing your rib cage down, so now you imagine a zipper that goes from your belly button to your breast bone. Zip it up.The overall effect is one of lifting and lightening, and should make your horse stance somewhat more effortless and easier on the knees. Also make sure your knees never press out past your ankles. 90 degrees at all times. Hope that helps!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.