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Ceaseless activity

People seek to feel vital and alive as they grow older. They engage in vigorous activities and work hard to keep their thoughts continually occupied.
Hurrying around, taking on new commitments, watching the news, playing with technology, gossiping, getting upset about political issues...
This is not rejuvenation. It is a recipe for mental health issues, a heart attack or a stroke.

Nervous agitation

Neurotic conduct is not youthful. Look at small children, unhindered by adult interference. They are usually curious about their immediate environment.
Taste, smell, touch, sounds, sights. The child is not fidgeting or restless, bored or emotional. They are filled with awe and wonder.

Tai chi is about changing our internal environment so that life becomes a joy to live and not a burden to drag into old age and death. It is about helping your body to let go of the past and your mind to slow down and cease churning. Tai chi encourages your internal focus to shift toward cherishing and remembering all that is wonderful in your life. It predisposes you to look forward to ways to make life better, rather than remembering how unsatisfying it has been.

Most importantly, tai chi gives us the ability to realise a greater human potential in ourselves and to have genuine compassion for others. Tai chi, with its gentle strength, moves us closer to feeling more truly alive.

(Bruce Frantzis)

Freedom from chit-chat

Talking is considered to be a form of restlessness, of agitation. Curious? Only when the mind is both silent and still can deeper thought take place, unimpeded by chit-chat.
The mind must settle. Relax. Stop.

Faux methods?

Spa day, plastic surgery, poor exercise and dyeing your hair are not ideal methods for rejuvenation. Many modern methods have no lineage. There is no long-term evidence to support their claims.

The Old Ways

Yoga has been practiced since the dawn of recorded history. So has qigong. The principles and precepts of tai chi are ancient... These methods have been proved over millennia.

How we move conveys energy and youth not how buff we are.

(Anne Elliott)

Mind, body, spirit

Tai chi combines mind, body and spirit in every action. The student feels acutely alive and alert; energy-filled and passionate.
By using the body more efficiently, you can become less tired and feel more lively.

Wear & tear

Suppose you buy a car in 2010 and use it very rarely. In 2016 you decide to sell the car and take it to a dealership. The mileage is unusually low for a car of its age.
Yet the car is still 6 years old chronologically. In terms of wear and tear the car is 6 months old.
Tai chi is about spending your energy frugally. That way, as you get older, your wear and tear is unusually low for a person of your age.

Tai chi is like a tonic

A tonic is a medicine taken daily in order to maintain and invigorate the body. It may significantly improve your fitness.
However, you should take note of the small print, the conditions of use:

  1. It must be administered every day 

  2. When you stop taking it, the fitness benefits go away

In order to rejuvenate with the art, it must become part of your daily routine.

Daily qigong

Coupled with good diet, water, rest and sleep - daily qigong is a fabulous place to start. Standing and moving qigong offer a workout that can last between 30-60 minutes.
It is great for both body and mind.

Daily qigong + tai chi for health

After qigong, the student can perform a tai chi for health routine. This can add another 30 minutes of training and will increase the effects considerably.
Ending the routine with constructive reading and a short lie down is perfect.

Daily qigong + tai chi

Tai chi students have the opportunity to really take the training to a higher level. The routine is vastly more demanding and thorough.
Heavy weapons and nimble-footed forms ask far more of the body. Strength, agility, fluid movement and sustained concentration produce a truly terrific way to start the day.
A martial routine can last as long as you want it to; it is all a question of knowledge, material, commitment and time.

Brain work (meditation, awareness, metacognition)

Once you are training tai chi every day, you must supplement physical training by reading the recommended books.
These titles will expand your consciousness, increase your awareness, develop a more flexible mind and make you receptive to unforeseen possibilities.
Ultimately, the time you commit to your mental development will prove to be just as valuable as the physical training.

Before & after work

The old method of training was to practice hard before work, and gently after. The dawn routine prepares the body, emotions, mind and spirit for the day.
The dusk routine calms you down after work and replenishes your energy for the evening.

Page created 11 February 2001
Last updated 16 June 2023