A few tai chi practice tips

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...
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In taiji there are concepts that you want to understand. One is “get out of muscle.” For many this is a little difficult to understand at first, but once you do it is relatively easy to apply. The concept of “empty,” as some of my teachers refer to, means in part to have no jing in the muscles, no tension, no clutching. “Qi flows through” is another concept. When learners feel it happening, they are elated. It feels good.

How do you practice these concepts? Do single, basic moves with the intention of “getting out of muscle.” Repetitive, rhythmic movement is a valuable means of freeing up your mind and allowing you to perceive the more subtle features of your movement and body…to distinguish what is not moving from what is. You want whole body movement, harmonious and flowing. With practice you learn to turn your gaze away from muscle by focusing on the movement of bones, ligaments and tendons as you repeat the moves. This is a good idea for many practitioners, not just beginners. Many more ways exist, but this is a start.