Tai Chi is a popular form of moving meditation exercises. Originally an internal style of fighting called Tai Chi Chuan or Taijiquan which means Grand Ultimate Fist, it is often now simply practiced as a form of gentle exercise. A primary focus of the original internal Tai Chi Chuan system is the cultivation of the ability to strengthen and flow one’s Qi (Life energy). Unfortunately the widespread popularity of using Tai Chi as a form of gentle physical exercise has caused it to largely lose this key focus. When the Tai Chi forms are learned without regard to the flow of Qi it’s similar to learning a karate kata without bunkai (analysis/applications). It becomes a dance without its original purpose.
The individual Tai Chi Meditative Movements are the foundational keys to unlock the ability to raise and flow your Qi. Once unlocked, this ability may then be applied to the longer Tai Chi forms to practice them with the focus of flowing your internal Qi, rather than simply as a dance exercise or as if they were the same as an external style karate kata.
At first just practice the Tai Chi Meditative Movements using normal external muscular contraction. But over time, focus more on your internal energy and eventually you’ll be able to drive the motions from within. First focus on your breathing timed with the motions. Breathe deeply into your belly with your tongue touching the roof of your mouth. When that becomes easy, next focus on feeling your energy expanding with your motions as you breathe in and contracting as you breathe out. When that becomes easy, next focus on flowing your energy as your weight shifts between Yin and Yang. It feels like water flowing through your body to shift your weight. It is particularly evident in the later more advanced moves such as Twisting the Tai Chi Ball and Single Whip and Split.
It’s best to learn the moves one at a time using the individual videos below. Only move on to the next one after you have practiced the previous move for a few weeks. You may practice the moves with as many repetitions as you like. I did 10 repetitions of each move in the videos. I usually practice the sequence with 10 repetitions of each move (about 1 minute each move) during the week as part of my morning Qigong/Karate workout. I also practice the sequence with 50 repetitions each (about 5 minutes each move) on weekends when I have more time.
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These Movements are based on those described in the book – Chi: Discovering Your Life Energy.
The Tai Chi Meditative Movements are based on those in Chi – Discovering Your Life Energy