Faster Ways to Master Tai Chi Movements
First time learning tai chi movements? Learning can be made simpler if you take time to remember the following key points that can be applied to any tai chi moves you learn.
When learning any tai chi moves, details can easily overwhelm you: hand-eye-foot coordination, not to mention breathing, direction of each movement of each limb, rooting, directing the yinian, channeling of the chi… and so on.
If you take the time to practice these key points, you’ll find everything comes together more smoothly and effectively, and you’ll have an easier time performing the moves accurately.
- Keep the kua indented, the crease formed at the joint where waist and leg meet. Straighten your spine and tuck the tailbone slightly in.
- Keep the elbows and knees slightly bent at all times, even when limbs are fully extended.
- Your chin should be drawn slightly inward, chest slightly caved in and shoulders slightly slumped forward in relaxation.
- Rest your tongue in a natural position against the palate and edge of your upper teeth, your lips pressed together.
- Movements should flow into one another in rhythmic motion and at one constant speed. Coordinate tai chi moves with diaphragmatic breathing: each movement should take one inhalation and exhalation to complete.
- When turning your torso, arms should follow the turning of the waist, moving in a circular path. Always relax your waist when turning your torso.
- Direct your eyes on the primary movement and center of control.
- The following applies only if you are practicing the tai chi moves individually, that is, independent of the rest of the tai chi form: To more effectively balance yin and yang energies, female practitioners should begin the exercise first on the left and males on the right. After completing the tai chi movements, switch to complete the exercise on the opposite side.If you are practicing the entire tai chi form, do not reverse the original order or change the sequence from the way it should be practiced.
Once you begin to internalize these basic rules, you will be able to apply them automatically, thus freeing your concentration to be directed to rooting, self-defense applications of individual tai chi movements and directing your yinian and the channeling of your chi.