Home / How To / How to do Tai Chi’s Horse Stance

How to do Tai Chi’s Horse Stance

Horse standing is one of the basic postures in Tai Chi, which can help you energize, relax and strengthen your body.[1] You can practice the basic horse position during your daily life and add arm exercises and exercises for an extra challenge. Keep your mind focused on how your body feels and how you breathe to get the most out of this powerful posture.


[[[[Edit]Position your body

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Find a flat surface to stand on and stand with your feet directly under your hips. Keep your toes pointing forward from your body when standing upright.[2][3]
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    • Starting with the right foot will create a solid foundation for the rest of your posture.
  2. Unlock your knees and relax your pelvis. Instead of straightening your knees and locking them in place, bend them slightly so that your legs are not straight.[4] Relax your pelvis and lower body so that it sits comfortably on top of your legs without much effort.[5]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • You may think that your pelvis is heavy or weighted so it hangs down on your legs.
  3. Relax your lower back so that the tailbone feels heavy. Note how your back and back muscles feel. If they are tense or tight, relax them to release your energy. Let the tailbone hang down over the legs as if it feels folded.[6].
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 3 Version 2.jpg
  4. Keep your neck in a neutral position so that your head feels light. Turn straight forward with your chin parallel to the ground. Relax your neck muscles and think of a string attached to the main crown, pulling it upwards so that it feels weightless.[7]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • The more you relax your neck, the better your posture will be.
  5. Stop your chin to correct your posture. Instead of sticking your head out, remember to put your chin in your neck to keep your spine straight and aligned. Avoid stretching or straining your neck too much and relax your shoulders.[8]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • When you first start doing a horse stand, it can be helpful to look at yourself in a mirror.

[[[[Edit]Add arms

  1. Lift your arms in front of you with your palms facing inwards. Keep your legs and torso in place and slowly lift your arms in front of you so that they are in line with your shoulders. Turn your palms towards you and put energy in your fingers so that they spread wide.[9]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • You may feel like you are holding a round beach ball or hugging a large tree.
  2. Push your shoulders down and relax your spine. When keeping your arms at shoulder height, try not to bend or flex your back. Roll your shoulders back to keep your posture straight and relax your spine as you do so.[10]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Try to create a balance between energy in the body and relaxation. As you keep your arms up, relax the rest of your body.
  3. Hold the pose for about 20 minutes or until you feel tired.[11] The posture of the horse is a basic, relaxing exercise that you can do as often as you like. Try to hold the pose and make an overview of how your body feels while standing completely still.[12]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • If your arms get tired, slowly lower them to your sides and keep them there.
    • Or you can swing your arms back and forth to float in your shoulders.
  4. Inhale deeply through your stomach as you hold the pose. Make an overview of how you breathe when you relax in the horse’s posture. Inhale deeply and fill your stomach, then slowly release it. Breathing exercises can help you relieve anxiety and stress.[13]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 9.jpg

[[[[Edit]Practice horse position

  1. Do the horse stand when you are in your daily life. If you are standing in line at the grocery store, waiting at the bus stop or talking on the phone, try to get into the horse position. You do not have to put your arms around if you are in public, but you can use the posture to practice good posture all day.[14]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 10.jpg
  2. Use the horse’s posture to practice stability. Holding the horse’s posture is an easy way to strengthen your legs, back and arms. Try to keep the horse’s posture for as long as you can, give your body a break and then try again. If you do this two to three times a day, you can build muscle and endurance.[15]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 11.jpg
    • Try to make a horse stand in a relaxing environment, like out in nature.
  3. Bend your knees in a squat for an extra challenge. Slowly bend your knees until you are in a comfortable squat position. Lean forward a little to keep the balance with your arms in front of you. Squat for about 10 seconds and then slowly lift up to the original posture.[16]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 12.jpg
    • You do not have to try a squat, but it can help you improve your strength and flexibility.
    • Do a squat as many times as you want, or until your legs feel tired.
  4. Relax your body and relieve stress with the horse’s posture. If you feel stressed, anxious or nervous, try to get into the horse’s posture and breathe deeply. You can use this time to meditate or reflect on your thoughts in a neutral, non-judgmental way.[17]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 13.jpg
    • You can also make a picture of your body and how it feels during the horse’s posture. Focus on the discomfort or pain you feel to find out where it comes from your body.
    • You can focus your thoughts on a particular topic or let them roam around.
  5. Start with the horse position and then move on to other Tai Chi exercises. The horse position is a starting position in Tai Chi, which means that you can move on to other movements if you want.[18] Try to bend your knees and swing from side to side, lift each leg one at a time, or crouch deeply and hold.[19]
    Do Tai Chi's Horse Stance Step 14.jpg
    • The horse’s posture is a great introduction to Tai Chi movements because it teaches you to relax your body while holding a pose.


  • Tai Chi practices, and mastering the posture of the horse can take you a few tries.
  • If your knees hurt when you do a horse stand, put more weight on your heels and straighten your knees slightly.
  • Start by holding the posture for 5 minutes a day and then increase your time gradually.

[[[[Edit]Related wikiHows

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  1. [v161421_b01]. 19 May 2020.
  2. [v161421_b01]. 19 May 2020.
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5peO0Ri2Bw&feature=youtu.be&t=10
  4. [v161421_b01]. 19 May 2020.
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5peO0Ri2Bw&feature=youtu.be&t=15
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsuZciELEvQ&feature=youtu.be&t=85
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5peO0Ri2Bw&feature=youtu.be&t=38
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsuZciELEvQ&feature=youtu.be&t=89
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfawAJXmiw0&feature=youtu.be&t=46
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsuZciELEvQ&feature=youtu.be&t=91
  11. [v161421_b01]. 19 May 2020.
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5peO0Ri2Bw&feature=youtu.be&t=118
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfawAJXmiw0&feature=youtu.be&t=58
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5peO0Ri2Bw&feature=youtu.be&t=1
  15. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIZWUbiJYTE&feature=youtu.be&t=33
  16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsuZciELEvQ&feature=youtu.be&t=181
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIZWUbiJYTE&feature=youtu.be&t=87
  18. [v161421_b01]. 19 May 2020.
  19. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/heart/2014/01/tai-chi-workouts-for-the-whole-body/

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