Tai Chi movements, which are slow and circular, coordinate with body motion. People have often told me that Tai Chi is difficult to learn. I respond, yes and no.
If you learn it correctly, it is not difficult. One of the very important tips in Tai Chi practice is you must relax and let go of everything in your mind and body. I often find that people are very tense during my teaching in classes and during my Tai Chi Instructor Training Courses.
As soon as students relax, they can see how much better they do. The theory is, if you relax, you allow your energy to flow. If you tense up, you will cause energy blockages which will make the learning much more difficult.
Tai Chi is an advanced energy workout that needs a relaxed attitude and full concentration on the present you. Breathing is slow and deep and coordinated with each movement. For beginners, the breathing is not emphasized.
Most practice is in walking motion, but for the new learner, some stationary practice on Tai Chi basics can be very helpful. Before practicing Tai Chi, one should always do 10 to 15 minutes of warm up exercises or fast walking. After practice, one should do some stretching.
There are five main styles or forms: Yang, Chen, Wu, Wu, Sun. the most popular styles are Yang, Wu, Chen, in this order. More people study the Yang style, big frame style, which is easy to learn and easy to share with other people. Wu style, small frame style, is also easy to learn, and the older population likes it. Chen style, I call martial style, very energetic and powerful, but more difficult to learn.
All of these Tai Chi styles share the same principles and provide similar benefits. For those practicing the martial arts way, they should incorporate some Tai Chi Push Hands, to demonstrate and test, the true understanding of Tai Chi.
All though Tai Chi offers great health benefits, it is not for everyone. It is not practical for anyone with a severe illness; in contrast, Qi Gong can be used for any situation. If you have too much stress or a chemical imbalance, Tai Chi is a good tool to use every day.
Once you decide to learn Tai Chi, you will need to have discipline, patience, and diligent practice, because learning Tai Chi takes time. It is more beneficial and much more fun, if you incorporate it with the practice of Push Hands. Tai Chi Push Hands, a form of partnership practice, used to gain the fundamental skills of focusing and directing energy, using Tai Chi skills to defend the external force. Push hands share the same principles of Tai Chi.
In order to avoid injury in Tai Chi practice, the beginners should avoid low stance, and focus on relaxation, gradual increase the length of practice, alternate the station movements and walking movements, always warm up before practice.
Tai Chi is a journey, it serves as a self discipline, is a life style, is a constant awareness of wellbeing and good health. In our fast paced society, we need Tai Chi to balance our life, keep us up lifting, help us focus, keep us healthy, bring us fulfilled spirit, and happiness.