Get more results from your tai chi practice by following these tips

#1) For your warm up and for getting on the road to really understanding the form, practice Pulling Silk, which consists of doing a small portion of the form over and over again. Remember to link up the last posture of the portion you select with an appropriate step into the first posture and repeat. This indispensible method can be done for long periods of time. Sometimes I spend over 1 hour on four corners practice. The posture makes its imprint on your psyche and the practice can be done without thinking of the next movement.

#2) Relaxation of your whole physical framework is a must and should be constantly practiced, especially the legs and feet. This will take a long time, as the body must adjust totally. Your marker of success in relaxation will be a severe ache throughout your body. The ache usually travels from your neck down to your feet. Remember the chi cannot move in a contracted environment. Your body must condense over time or you will not understand the form.

#3) Don’t bend your hands at the wrist. There should be a straight line from your forearm to your fingertips. This is called Beautiful Ladies Hand.

#4) Practice holding a posture without moving for a certain period of time. This will enable the body to get used to the configuration of that particular posture. Soon you will start to feel the chi moving in the posture.

#5 All postures are self defense movements and your form should look the part. Use your imagination to see your opponent attacking as you move thru the form.
#6) Standing Meditation must be practiced as much as the form. This will enable the chi to come out of the joints and move down to your center of gravity called the tan tien. From here it will circulate throughout your body. This step is imperative to your practice. It is also used for Qi Gong practice. While standing in wu chi, slowly bring the arms up to shoulder height and configure them as if you were holding your arms around a tree. Hold for 10-30 minutes while relaxing your body.

#7) Always take your time with your practice. You are embarking on a long road leading deep into your psyche. The practice of Tai Chi is a path to your inner being. My teacher always said, ‘The form does you, you do not do the form.’ Have patience, keep up your daily practice and give thanks to the universe during your voyage of understanding your true nature.