The silk reeling (纏絲 chán sī) exercises used in Spiral Taiji classes were constructed by the current lineage holder of the Chen family, Chen Xiaowang.
They are designed to distill and reinforce the movement principles behind taijiquan and form the foundation for all taijiquan forms movement. Silk reeling is named after the action of slowly and smoothly drawing out silk from a cocoon. The body moves in a spiralling action, combining relaxing, extending and twisting.
All the benefits of taijiquan stem from developing an awareness of how your body is moving and moving it correctly. Chen Bing, nephew of Chen Xiaowang, demonstrates a basic silk reeling exercise and articulates the postural requirements for correct movement: