Inner and outer art of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is well known for its beautiful flowing movements and many health benefits. Less well known is the inner component of Tai Chi that makes the smooth peaceful flow and many health benefits possible. Most teachers start by teaching beginning students the physical postures and sequence with minimal, if any, instruction in the inner art. And sure, there is quite a lot involved with learning the movements themselves; the problem is you really can’t learn Tai Chi if you don’t know and apply the underlying principles. There is an old Chinese saying: “Learning Tai Chi is easy; to correct the bad habits of performing Tai Chi is difficult.”

In our classes, we strive to integrate the outer movements with the inner wisdom for all students. This takes longer and can lead to frustration on the part of some students. Sorry. However, at the end of the day, you really have something.

Here are a few of the foundational principles for learning real Tai Chi.

1. Empty the mind and lift up through the crown of the head.

2. Hold your spine softly erect and soften (curve) the chest inward.

3. Bring relaxation to the lower spine, curving the hips slightly under.

4. Place your awareness at the body’s center of gravity – three inches below the navel.

5. Relax the shoulders and elbows.

6. Let your mind lead your movements (the mind leads the chi).

7. Coordinate the upper and lower body.

8. Flow from one movement to the next.

Tai Chi classes are held weekly at the SaddleBrooke One fitness center. We’d love to have you join us. $10 per class.

Beginning: Tuesday 9:05-10:05 a.m.

Intermediate: Saturday 12:30–1:30 p.m.

Advanced: Saturday 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

For more information call Carol 520-373-3778 or Ken 520-784-1475. Both are certified Black Belt instructors.