The Changes of Yin and Yang in Push Hands

Yin and Yang in Push Hands

Push Hands for beginners – The Changes of Yin and Yang in Push Hands

Learn the 4 postures in two consecutive workshops!

About the 4 postures

The 4 postures are the most important partner form of Yang style Taijiquan. They combine a healthy way of moving with the joy of interaction and meditation in motion: movement and reaction patterns of body and mind are reprogrammed in a playful way. In partner work, which may feel unusual at first, you will learn how to cope with stress in a safe environment. At the same time, we lay the foundation for a second nature: to act calm and relaxed, when confronted with the unforeseen.

Our path of learning will proceed from the known to the unknown: a simple pattern with preassigned roles – the 4 postures – are the tool with which we will work to create a base for free interaction.

Yin and Yang in Push Hands
Yin and Yang in Push Hands

The 4 postures – The changes of yin and yang

The 4 postures consist of four movements, which are at first executed with preassigned roles.

The four movements consist of two Yin and two Yang elements – it is like a question and answer game between the partners.

In the beginning, both partners learn to move strictly in tune with their role.

One partner is yang – active and focused – the question, or the „attack“.
The other partner is yin in this same moment – slow and yielding – the answer, or the „defense“-

For the next movement, the roles are changed.

This creates a back and forth, a dialogue in an (endless) circle. This circle may be a fixed meditative movement between two partners, but – depending on the agreement of the partners – it can also vary in direction and dynamics or even be interrupted by a spontaneous action, marking the beginning of free push hands.

This flexibility makes the 4 postures the perfect tool for an introduction to Tai Chi as a martial art as well as to free Push Hands, the central partner exercise of Taijiquan.

Video Yin and Yang in Push Hands

Workshop contents – Martial arts and communication

Tai Chi being a soft martial art, the focus of the workshops will be on unconditional yielding, the yin part. – As we will experience, the dealing out part (yang element) is generally learned faster than the taking part.

We will begin by working on the four simple movements, at first as a solo exercise and then with a partner. In complementing exercises, we will work on moving directed at and with relation to our partner on the one hand, and on getting our of his/her way on the other hand.

Moving on, we develop the ability to adjust to the Other (our partner, our counterpart). We will thereby address and train skills that are at the base of communication as well as martial arts.

Traditionally, Push Hands practitioners are referred to as opposite energies, which in ideal circumstances – e.g. with some practice – complement each other:

The 4 postures are our common set of exercises. – We are speaking the same language.

roll back tai chi

A harmonic partner exercise features adjusted movement (not too much, not too little), distance (not too near, not too far away) and timing (not too fast, not too slow). – The dialogue starts.

Perfect balance – i.e. always finding the right answer to a new question – would be the ultimate goal: to protect oneself without loosing one’s structure and to develop the patience to wait for the right time for a counter question. – The dialogue develops.

But what if it does not work out as planned? – The dialogue comes to a dead stop!

We learn to reflect on our part in this and to make a new beginning. – The thread of our discussion is resumed.

At the end of the workshop, the participants are free to decide if they would like an excursion into the four postures in movement (moving footwork) or in to free Push Hands.

Progress in the workshops

All exercises and techniques are tailored to beginner’s level and will grow with the students. In line with traditional training, simple exercises will gradually become more demanding as you progress (fine-tuning!), according to your individual level.

The emphasis of the first workshop is on learning the 4 postures and some simple accompanying exercises. In the second workshop, we will dive into some fine tuning already.

Prerequisites for attending

There are no special prerequisites for attending. The training is gentle, i.e. its intensity is adapted to the participants and is rooted in cooperative collaboration between the participants.

You hesitate, because you are unsure if the workshops are right for you?
You have some previous training experience and therefore have a question if and how Push Hands training may be integrated into your training?

Do not hesitate to call Nils in person!

Dates & Times

29./30. Oktober and 19./20. November 2022
SAT: 15:00 -20:00 hours & SUN 10:00 – 15:00 hours
Price 180 Euros per weekend
Tai Chi Studio, Nils Klug
Hannover Germany


You can register by filling out the form.

We are always looking forward to seeing some new faces!

German version of this article