Thinking of learning Tai Chi? Check out TOP 10 tips for Tai Chi beginners for a guide to the basics of this spiritual art.
1. Relax, be open and be playful
Enjoy developing a deeper connection to all life around you.
2. Enjoy passively observing the processes of nature
Sun and rain, wind and stillness, take pleasure in noticing the flows of energy in nature.
3. Be aware of your base, your connection to the ground
“If you practice (a martial art) without paying attention to your gong (base) then it will be a lifetime of empty practice.” (Huang Sheng-Shyan)
4. Feel the connectedness of your whole body
Let movement arise from a welling-up of natural energy following your conscious intention. For example, Wee Kee-Jin says, “Moving the arms is not Tai Chi” – your arms do move, but they move dependent upon an initiation of movement from the base, not on their own.
5. Consistent practice is important for steady progress
“Learning is eating, practicing is digesting.” Huang Sheng-Shyan.
6. Practice with a friend in the park or garden
Practicing with someone else can both support you to stick to your discipline of practicing, and help if you feel self-conscious about practicing in the park!
7. Wear thinner, softer-soled shoes: feel the earth under your feet
Tai Chi shoes, like Native American moccasins, allow a very close and sensitive connection to the earth, allowing the energy of the earth to rise up through the body. Try wearing softer shoes more often in your everyday life, and enjoy the feeling of your new energetic relationship.
8. ‘Forgive quickly'
As Tai Chi empties the body of held tension, allow the mind and heart to release the past, thereby flowing into the future.’ Bill Douglas, ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Tai Chi & QiGong’.
9. Be aware of how you move in everyday tasks
My Tai Chi teacher used to get us to practice flowing by shifting our weight with the movements at the ironing board! Enjoy your washing up with a fuller awareness of your body, breathing and intention!
10. Look out for the Yin and Yang in yourself
In the Taoist Yin Yang symbol the opposites dance and each contains the other. Look for balance in your life by honestly accepting your own negatives and positives.