tai chi practice
We get lots of questions about how to cope with your tai chi practice.
The first thing to say is that it is a good idea to practice for at least 15 minutes every day. As with many other physical activities practicing frequently is better than having a mammoth 2 hour session all in one go.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about practicing. But above all relax an enjoy yourself.
What is the best time of day to practice my tai chi?
The best time of the day to practice is when you can fit it in!
It also depends on whether you want tai chi to relax and energise you for a good start to the day.
Or whether you want tai chi to help you wind down at the end of the day and feel peaceful and calm. If you're one of those people that start to buzz after exercise ask yourself if it will keep you awake!
Tai chi exercises are so versatile there's nothing to stop you doing both.
If you have arthritis or are stiff you will know when your joints are at their best and you might want to do the tai chi warm up exercises - just to get you going.
How long will my qigong and tai chi practice take?
Ideally you want to be able to practice your tai chi for 15 minutes a day - in three 5 minute chunks if you absolutely have to - you could work on an individual movement or practice weight shifting or breathing.
Tai chi forms and Qi Gong exercises can be done in a variety of timed sessions. You could do a 5, 10 or 15 minute session. And, its better to give yourself longer on the days that you are learning new things.
Its much better to practice a few exercises well than do lots badly. Having said that, sometimes with forms you need to be able to get from one end to the other. A lot will depend on your personality and learning preferences.
If you want to learn tai chi forms in 15 minutes a day you are probably going to have to learn a single move at a time. So you just need to be aware that progress is going to feel slow.
Where is the best place to practice tai chi?
You've probably read that its a good idea to practice outdoors in the fresh air - near big trees and water. Great if you can do it.
For most of us we have to settle for somewhere quiet with enough space not to trip over things.
From my own experience make sure you have enough ceiling height if you are using a tai chi sword ... hmm if only lampshades could talk!
It can help to use suitable music to create a good atmosphere and perhaps mask sounds from other parts of the building.
What if I can't remember what to do?
It happens to us all. Especially when you are just starting and its all new. We always recommend that you try to get a good tai chi DVD or book so that you can either follow the instructor on the screen or so that you can refresh you memory by reading all about it.
If you can do either of these then it is possible to concentrate on the body kinetics - how you move the hands, how you co-ordinate top and bottom half of the body.
The simple qigong move raising the arms (part of shibashi) has lots of scope for practicing.
Interesting article by Chinese teacher about the way to practice tai chi