Friday, February 11, 2011

Are You Starting Your Tai Chi Correctly?

When I first started to learn Tai Chi, I was very curious about the names of each movement. As a teenager at that time, it motivated me to know that I was working toward mastering cool-sounding movements such as “Golden Roster Standing with One Leg” or “Bring the Tiger Back to the Mountain.” However, my teacher denied my requests. He told me I wouldn’t know the names of each movement until I became familiar with all the movements of the set.

His reason for holding back the names was that he wanted me to concentrate on the movements themselves instead of their names. He also wanted me to perform the movements naturally, instead of thinking about their names and imagining how they might look before performing them.

In my classes, before we start to do any Tai Chi movements, I encourage my students to just stand in the Wu Chi stance (preparing stance). Before we do anything else, here’s what I tell them:

Start naturally. Relax your shoulders and rest of your body. Remove all the thoughts in your mind. Only when you feel your body is centered and relaxed, your mind is quiet and emptied, your weight has sunk down, and your roots are connected to the earth, you are in the right position to start your Tai Chi.

Copyrighted Huan's Tai Chi 2011

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