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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.
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.
Taijiquan 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. Taijiquan 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, taijiquan gives us the ability to realise a greater human potential in ourselves and to have genuine compassion for others. Taijiquan, with its gentle strength, moves us closer to feeling more truly alive.
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.
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.
we move conveys energy and
youth – not how buff we are.
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:
It must be administered every day
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.
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 for fitness
Adding a more demanding fitness component will increase the effectiveness of the training.
Daily qigong + taijiquan
Taijiquan 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 taijiquan 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.
11 February 2001
Last updated 21 June 2020