In our classes we often see people ’getting’ the idea of Tai Chi or Qigong for the first time, its very rewarding. Tai Chi is a deep practice and it can be easy for new students to lose their way in the beginning.
Here are some pointers for beginners.
Listen to your teacher to learn the fundamental concepts.
When explaining what certain movements are for, we aim to provide a balance between traditional concepts (The Yi leading the Qi, Zhong Ding or central equilibrium, and silk reeling energy) and very tangible benefits (developing balance, improving posture, boosting circulation) These concepts and benefits are given to develop your understanding and help you remember the lessons.
Practice the concepts
In Square form,
we work on alignment and control, learning to separate weight, open and close hips and shoulders in unison, learning to turn the feet to the best angle for the next move.
In Round form,
aim for slow flowing movements, with good alignment, weight separation and focus. Make your postures large and relaxed, yet find the expansion and contraction, the spirals and circles.
Deepen your understanding
Make your practice deeper, by developing your ability to see the subtle nuances, watch others to identify good practice principles. Control your action and composure to reproduce them in your practice.
Take your time.
Tai Chi is a life long process and every step along the way is enjoyable. It's better to deeply know a couple of postures from the form and train them several times a day than to superficially know a whole form. You will have a much more satisfying experience from the deeper practice.
'As teachers we can open the door, and point the way, but you have to make the journey.'
First class of the new term at Hindolveston today, and as always it is a pleasure to catch up with friends we haven't seen for a month, and of course new faces. in my case its my first full class back since breaking both legs in June, and first day out without the reassurance of a walking stick (unless you count a spear) and despite being a bit wobbly on deep single weighted stances, it was good for me.
Another nice thing was to see the progress many people have made in the time I was off, There was evidently a lot of time spent on form with Gloria, and despite having a month off I could see the difference.
Its a funny thing but when it was my job to supervise all of the NAES Tai Chi and Yoga classes, I got used to seeing a lot of the same faces, in different classes, always looking for the same thing, never finding it, perhaps it was because they were always looking to their teachers to give it to them instead of finding it in their practice?
' always looking for the same thing, never finding it,'
Today at our first class of the new term, we took things gently, Standing pole Qigong and Short Tai Chi hand form, its nice when you see people getting something worthwhile from their practice, discovering something new, perhaps about Tai Chi, or perhaps about themselves. As teachers we can open the door, and point the way, but you have to make the journey.
Traditional Tai Chi
Golden Rooster School
274 King Street
Norwich, NR1 2BL
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