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Is That All There Is?

It's possible to learn Tai chi (or yoga) online or by attending several classes. There are thousands of books and websites. But there is no beginning and end. Learning movements and postures and thinking "Did it! I'm done." is not the goal. The goal is to embark on a continuous journey where layer after layer provides new awareness, new abilities, and increased understanding - of yourself and for yourself.

"Superior" physical ability does not always translate to total understanding. Perhaps you do not kick and instead point a toe on the floor. Maybe transitions between moves are a challenge. Learning the moves of the 8, 24, 40, 108, or even the 185 forms of tai chi is only the beginning. Any one of those forms (Yang Style) can provide you with the gift of balance, mindfulness, and improved well being. Do not be frustrated. It should never be "boring." It takes time and practice and The Ten Essentials, The Six Harmonies, and The Eight Principles will make sense and deepen your understanding of what Tai chi is about and what your practice does for you, over time. Anyone, of any ability or age can do it. Don't just ask your Tai chi instructor. Ask your doctor! When you do, ask about expanding your exercise to core and cardio training suitable for you, for a trifecta!

The Ten Essentials of Tai Chi Chuan

1.      The posture of the head is upright and straight but relaxed.

2.      Hold in the chest and slightly round the back.

3.      Relax the waist.

4.      Separate empty and full.

5.      Sink the shoulders and drop the elbows.

6.      Use intent rather than force.

7.      Synchronize upper and lower body.

8.      Match up inner intent and outer body.

9.      Practice continuously and without interruption.

10.   Even with movement there is tranquility.


The Six Harmonies

External Harmonies

1.      The hands harmonize with the feet

2.      The hips harmonize with the shoulders

3.      The elbows harmonize with the knees

Internal Harmonies

1.      The heart harmonizes with the intention

2.      The intention harmonizes with the Qi (energy)

3.      The Qi harmonizes with the movement (action)


The Eight Principles

1. Columns

2. Rotation

3. Balance

4. Rooted

5. Ball of Energy

6. Martial Arts

7. Relaxation Connection

8. Breathing


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