I am taking a nice and relaxing break to absorb as many events as possible in the Winter Olympics and will be back soon afterwards to share some more tips and techniques I have learned and incorporated into my Tai Chi Practice. Until then, here is a list of the Basics that everyone learning Tai Chi must understand and master in their daily Practice. Enjoy the Olympics and appreciate the total dedication these incredible athletes have to their respective disciplines. Learning and mastering Tai Chi requires the same dedication - a true Path with Heart!
5 Principles of Internal Tai Chi
What is Internal Tai Chi as opposed to regular Tai Chi? First of all, the goal of all Tai Chi is to be internal. Following are 5 principles of Internal Tai Chi.
1. Sustained Relaxation
To gain some understanding of this first try to relax your body as much as you can so that your entire body wants to relax into the floor then move your body such as in taking a step. When you begin to take the step feel inside of your body and relax every unnecessary body part that tensed just as you thought about taking the step. Then, begin to step again and repeat. Perform the entire Tai Chi set this way and be honest with yourself. Most people will have to stop and re-relax many times.
2. Deep Inner Calm & Focus
Real internal practice is quite calm while staying focused on the here and now. Practice staying extremely calm and placid while keeping your focus on the here and now without letting your mind wander. Most people have difficulty because either tension will creep in, they will pick up the pace of their movement or their mind will start to wander.
3. Whole Body Breathing
Breathe with your entire body so that you can feel all of the cells getting oxygen. There should not be any strain or tension. Simply breathe with every part of your body and feel the cells softly respond to the air exchange.
4. Body Connection
The entire body moves as one with itself and ideally with its surroundings. When you are moving up everything is still connected to the ground but everything moves up. When you are sinking the air holds you up like strings holding up a puppet and yet everything is sinking down to and into the ground.
5. Energy Movement and Connection
The practitioner needs to be sensitive and have the ability to control and move with the energy so that with any movement the mind moves first, the energy follows the mind and then the body naturally follows the energy. If the energy movement is proper and the connection between the energy and the body is true and correct then the practitioner’s movement will seem to flow on its own and can be felt and seen by anyone else who has any ability to sense energy.