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.