I don’t really know about what other tai chi teachers do, but I show learners loosening exercises that they can do to achieve a number of results. One result is to improve concentration on repetitive, rhythmic motion for building skill in biomechanical efficiency, balance and even power. Usually, I encompass these kinds of exercises in “single-basic” exercises. On-going students are familiar with these, but beginners stumble over various aspects of practicing them. One of them is speed.

Speed is not always good in loosening exercise. Slowing down allows you to get connected more readily. Staying connected while moving is easier to accomplish if you stop assuming—moving faster while cycling through them more rapidly—is better. Like it’s aerobics or some cardio exercise.

This tai chi is not, and it may be foolish to compare one to the other. They’re different approaches to movement. Do cardio if you want, but don’t think something is missing in tai chi because it’s not going fast enough or hard enough. You won’t get what tai chi has to offer that is as valuable as anything you can get from some kind of aerobic tai chi.

One of those things you get from tai chi is powerful whole-body connectivity. The mental concentration it takes to achieve it leads to a boon in better mind-body connection and better health and longevity

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