A blog about the intersection of Tai Chi, Zen and Dao. I hope that you find something of value for your own practice.

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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Tai Chi is not Exercise

Tai Chi is not Exercise

Recently, in my Creekside class, I talked about how Tai Chi is not really exercise and that to do it only as such is to miss the point. The reason I was talking about this is because one of my friends told me that he had re-injured himself while doing Tai Chi and I immediately thought, "he's not doing Tai Chi, he's doing exercise that he thinks is Tai Chi." 

If you are really doing Tai Chi, the slow, deliberate motions done properly will not EVER re-injure or cause you any discomfort, IF you are LISTENING to your body. And you can't direct energy if you aren't listening. Tai Chi is good for healing, restoring a feeling of wellness, and strengthening your body in subtle ways, not for reinjuring yourself!!

When you do Tai Chi, you DO get some exercise, but more importantly, you are beginning to learn how to direct your energy (ji) with your mind (shen). Done properly, your internal organs get massaged, energy channels open and chi accumulates. 

If you want exercise, go to the gym and workout, go ride a bike, go for a run, go skiing, go swimming, go for a long walk, etc.... I enjoy all those, too, but it has nothing to do with my Tai Chi. Unless, of course, you incorporate Tai Chi principles into these activities! 

I'll have more to say about this in the future but this is a good place to stop for now. I'm happy to entertain questions, feedback, comments, etc.

Searching for Balance,


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