Receiving adjustments from my main teacher, Paul Cavel.

Thoughts on Practice

Learning to Practice in Class

Welcome to the world of Tai Chi. If you are reading this, you are probably in the early stages of learning Tai Chi and have started practicing a little on your own.

I would like to offer a recommendation of one thing you want to practice a lot of, and that is Tai Chi's unique way of relaxing. I say unique because it is not the typical western idea of relaxation, but a paradoxical approach, where there are strict alignments but the mind (in a very calm way) is constantly scanning the body, feeling to loosen any areas of stiffness and tension. The aim is to feel more alive, vital and connected internally.

 

All the early benefits of Tai Chi rely on trying to relax in this particular way, so your body remains loose and connected. My experience has taught me, that you need a good instructor to help you feel this in your own body. Connecting the body in this relaxed manner requires adjustments, which is why in the end there is no substitute for an effective teacher. Once you first feel this loose internal relaxation, in both mind and body, you practice to deepen this feeling and to continue connecting the body at deeper levels. So any Tai Chi class you attend should have this focus and then in your own personal practice remember to keep this as your main focus.