A taiji focus: Intend what you want to do and be able to

No doubt about it. Those who do tai chi for health reap great benefits from practicing regularly. Releasing tension is one benefit. No one can go long without tensing up from the stressful environments we live in. While many handle stress well, many don’t, and it wears down the vital energy we received at birth. Whoever you are and however you live, tai chi helps re-access some of that.

Regular practice also offers a chance to discover new things and refine your approach—what you are doing well and what you could do better. Knowing what you want to do and having enough control of your body and mind to actually do it is one ability you’re searching for in learning tai chi.

Maybe we could all do better by not clenching or tightening joints so much when we move. While tension and release is necessary, being the unavoidable manner in which we move, there are times when it’s just plain old stress. Wear and tear on the tendons and ligaments, as well as muscles, are obvious.

Part of practice would include remembering to let tension go when and where you recognize you have it. You may eventually be able to control what you want when you want. For example, more clarity comes from being able not only to relax when you want, but also tighten when you want. You would become more aware of and sensitive to what’s going on in your body. This would take the guess work out of practice. But how to do that you may ask. Move in the tai chi way with a tai chi mind, of course.