Practicing T'ai Chi...
Aside from its defense training and its health benefits, T’ai Chi is also practiced for a variety of other reasons, like hard and soft martial art techniques, demonstration competitions, and longevity. As a result, many training forms exist today both traditional and modern, which satisfy those aims. Most modern styles of T’ai Chi trace their development to a least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun.
In the United States the most commonly practiced form is Yang. Yang style has an even tempo with larger and tighter circular movements than the Chen style, which has harder strikes and a faster tempo. The Yang forms incorporate very large movements known for their flow from one move to the other, and their stance is middle height, not too low or too high.
In the West, the most commonly tough form is the Yang 24-Movement Forms, which is a modified version of the original form with 108 movements. I have been practicing the Yang style for 6 weeks now. I am still learning the 24 forms and progressing very well I think. I have heard from some of the older students that it can take many months to learn the 24 Movement Forms and years to really master them. More recently I have been trying not to think too much about the correct stance in each move and just let it happen. When I do think about it too much I find I lose track of the rest of the movements that follow. So I just breath and let it happen and this has been working well for me.
I practice at MtSong two days a week and I look forward to that one hour T’ai Chi session. But lately I have found myself practicing beyond that time. I have been incorporating T’ai Chi in my everyday activities, like doing mindful walks during my break at work. I find that I am now more aware of my body and the things around me. This always brings a sense of peace and calm to my day. Every time I feel some stress or discomfort, weather at work, in traffic, or anywhere I happen to be, I always think of the principles I have learned in T’ai Chi, I breath and bring awareness back to my body. I think everyone can benefit from these ancient T’ai Chi principles, especially in today’s world.
If you will like to learn more about T’ai Chi please follow the various links found throughout this site. They were all extremely useful in writing these pages. Thank you for reading and I wish you well in your journey to good health.
May 4, 2013