Tip on starting your tai chi practice

They say that practicing at “same time, same place” everyday is best, but I say anywhere, anytime is superior. This is because fluidity is a key strength of your practice. It is an achievement that you reach through practice. Might as well start with it as a goal rather that adhere to an imposed rule of when and where. Of course, often enough it turns out to be a regular place and Read More …

The Spinning Top Approach

When it comes to how to move, starting off for a beginner can be compared to a spinning top. Many beginners start moving similarly to where a spinning top is slowing down and begins to wobble off its axis. Some masters refer to this as wai dan, or the external leading. Your task in practice is to narrow down the wobble towards the center core of the axis, what we call the Read More …

THE CLOCK

We live by the clock. You might say we’re slaves to it. A lot of our discordant feelings are due to our yearning to be free from the clock. That’s one reason why we do tai chi—to get away from THE CLOCK. I see people looking at the clock in tai chi class. That means that they’re not concentrating enough on why they’re there in the first place. That’s OK though, because Read More …

A simple trick for learning tai chi

As with many things in life there is a trick to doing tai chi. Knowing this makes learning easier, quicker, and more fulfilling. This trick, which really isn’t a trick as much as a rather useful technique, is to remember something. Something remembered is something learned. You might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information we’re exposed to in class. That feeling may cause you to lose interest in learning. Which, of Read More …

Looking for solutions rather than process?

One problem we run into—and often don’t realize—is that we’re looking for solutions, rather than engaging in the process of learning. We’re leaping ahead of ourselves. Tai chi and Qigong are processes that offer powerful opportunities to learn without worrying about whether we’re doing it correctly. Perfection comes with practice. It’s taken care of eventually as a result of paying attention to learning itself. As they say, “The journey is the destination.” Read More …

Overcoming resistance to learning

Build and strengthen your memory of tai chi through regular, sustained practice. Part of your practice is trying to remember a move or sequence of moves despite whether you actually do recall exactly what they or even how to do them. This process is part of overall learning. Many of us have difficulty doing this, because, well…it seems difficult and it’s easier to not try instead. When this happens, we are procrastinating Read More …

Breath, energy and movement

In qigong and tai chi, especially if you are a beginner, you can get good results by coordinating breath with movement. For example, you can inhale or exhale while your arms expand out or draw in as you time the speed of the movement to match the inhale and exhale. In another level of awareness you can place attention more singlemindedly on Qi (life force). Qi can extend beyond the body. Mind Read More …