Tai Chi Technique
Perfect Posture

The Tai Chi Technique - Perfect Posture section is just that - it's all about getting everything right by understanding the underlying body mechanics that you are using when you do your exercises.

We must emphasise that you don’t need to know all about tai chi techniques before you start. And you don’t have to go into this level of detail - ever. Unless you want to!. And if you want to go even deeper then go to spine picture to see the anatomy details.

The basic guidelines in the tai chi technique section are enough to get you started so go to tai chi technique - basics if you are in a hurry to start.

And again we can’t emphasise enough you don’t have to be in perfect physical condition to practise Tai Chi – you just need to be sensible and work within your limitations.

As always, if you are starting a new program of Tai Chi exercise consult with your health care professional. If you think they won’t understand what’s involved in your Tai Chi exercises - they can always come here and have a look around.

Anyway, perfection lies in the detail – so let’s move on.

If you think this looks like more tai chi technique than you need to know then go to Tai Chi exercises


Tai Chi Perfect Posture Index

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Your Body – Your Way

Before we get into the ins and outs of the correct posture for Tai Chi exercises we’d like you to take a couple of moments to think about how you use your body now.

You might be asking yourself ‘what kind of a stupid question is that?’. But it’s not as silly as it sounds.

Did you ever think about how you learned to walk or sit or even just stand? It’s a bit of a trial and error process – you keep going till you can get where you want to go – anyway you can make it work!

But if you think about it - did you ever have a professional movement coach tell you the best way to walk or sit so that the muscles and joints were properly used.

No? Neither did we.

And that’s strange – you get tennis coaches, ice skating coaches, ballet teachers – all these people teach you how to move properly and to get the best use out of your body.

Its very odd that everyone seems to think that there is nothing difficult about walking and sitting and nothing dangerous about getting it wrong.

Were you aware that incorrect use of muscles and joints, and not just when you exercise, but just in everyday regular use, could give you problems? Lower back pain, migraines, poor circulation to mention but a few.

So how do you walk, stand and sit and how do you get out of deep chairs? Whatever way you do it now is probably the result of trial and error and it’s a habit for you.

After all you’ve been doing what you’re doing for your whole life.

If you’re anything like us, you might find that you’ve picked up some bad habits over the years.

Do any of these sound familiar? You slump over your desk or to eat. You hunch your shoulders or slouch when you walk – you might even lean forward as though walking against the wind. You clamp a phone between your ear and your shoulder?

Or do you do the traditional military thing – head up, chin out, chest out, arms back? Or have you worn high heels for years? Do you spend most of your day sitting down?

If any of these are true there is a good chance that you have picked up some bad muscle habits – and you probably don’t even notice them.

You’re probably wondering why we’re going on about this. Qi Gong and Tai Chi exercises – especially Tai Chi Chuan put a lot of emphasis on the correct posture and body alignment.

And however you do it now – however good or bad - your muscles are accustomed to doing it that way – it feels right. So if you have bad muscle habits now the correct posture is going to feel odd and even unnatural.

You might even be tempted to give up altogether or try to do Tai Chi exercises without paying attention to the posture.

Our advice is ‘stay with it’ good posture comes with practice and the time will come when your new good and healthy muscle habits replace your old unhelpful ones.

And, if you’ve already got good posture? – that’s great – you’ve got a head start for the perfect tai chi posture.

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The Tai Chi Way

In Tai Chi instruction advice is often included in the form of The 10 Essentials or The 10 Essences attributed to Yang Chen Fu and developed to help his students understand the movements of the modern Tai Chi form.

The 10 Essences also cover the mind body link, co-ordination and harmonization of movement that we cover in the Principles of Movement section. So here we only focus on the first four Essences: