Oriental Medicine and Health Services

T'ai Chi

Structure & Movements

Body Structure and T'ai Chi

Brian demonstrating proper T'ai Chi body structure
  • Erect and upright but not stiff
  • Relaxed but not flimsy
  • Particular attention to alignment and angles of major moveable joints

The Movements in T'ai Chi

  • Continually spiraling, coiling, and flowing
  • Gentle and firm
  • Rising and sinking
  • Contracting and expanding
  • Body moves as a whole unit
  • Combined with natural deep breathing and full mental intention (yi)

How long does it take to learn?

  • Practice, practice, practice is the key
  • Basic physical aspects of the form can take 6 to 12 months
  • More details get added
  • Mental intention (yi) aspect of Tai Chi takes longer to learn and requires commitment
  • Did I mention that regular practice is essential?

Can anyone learn T'ai chi?

  • Requires physical and mental effort
    • Generally not suitable for children
  • Develop at your own pace
    • Regardless of physical condition
    • Not a competition

T'ai Chi vs. Qigong

  • Physical aspects of T'ai Chi (the form) take longer to learn than shorter Qigong exercises
  • Mental intention (yi) aspects of Qigong are focused on more immediately
  • Qigong and Tai Chi classes at OMHS are designed to integrate with one another
  • Both have similar health goals and benefits