Articles

The progression of tai chi focus of attention

The progression of tai chi focuses attention deeper with continued practice over time (gongfu) on the inner alignment of the body as represented by this diagram. Beginners focus on the outside movement of extremities, while more-seasoned learners are able to focus more deeply on the core alignment and how to move there. The three dantians: lower (abdomen), middle (solar plexus), and upper (forehead) are key loci Read More …

Turning attention inward—and outward—in tai chi practice

Taiji is a meditative practice. We often think that means turning the attention inward. True. It could be a focus on breathing, or silencing the mind of thoughts. You can do that in taiji, but as a moving meditation you also have a task of focusing on the outside of the self. Or more accurately, focusing the self on what is happening outside; for example, to Read More …

About loosening exercises in tai chi

I don’t really know about what other tai chi teachers do, but I show learners loosening exercises that they can do to achieve a number of results. One is to improve concentration on repetitive, rhythmic motion for building skill in biomechanical efficiency, balance and even power. Usually, I encompass these kinds of exercises in “single-basic” exercises. My on-going students are familiar with these, but beginners stumble Read More …

Recalling yourself with tai chi

Part of doing tai chi is to find a familiar part of yourself that you forgot about. You feel good when you find it, like when a long-lost and loved relative or friend appears out of thin air. It’s a satisfying feeling that says all is not lost and hope abounds. Tai chi is about recall as much as it is about simply moving. Mental and Read More …