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The Rules of Doing Tai Chi Correctly

When you practice tai chi exercises you don’t have to get them perfect. However there are some basic guidelines that you need to enjoy the maximum health, mental and spiritual benefits of doing them.


The first thing you need to be mindful of when you do Tai Chi is how you turn directions. Most people get the hang of this when they practice in a group. However when you do them alone it helps to imagine a clock in front of you and picture a midnight, three o’clock, six o’clock and 9 o’clock on a dial. This can help prevent you from making a full spin with your body when making a quarter turn or ending up facing the south when you should be facing east.


The next big thing that you need to pay attention to when you perform tai chi is how you are breathing. This is not breathing that is done from the upper chest. It is done from the diaphragm. You will also be breathing more through your mouth then you normally would. Usually people breathe through their nose.


It is also important to take deep cleansing breaths that initiate from a place as deep in your belly as you can feel. This helps calm and relax you as well as limbers you up so you can perform the postures.


You will also be taught to hold your breath. Many tai chi masters say that the healing does not take place on the inhale or exhale but rather on the pause between either.  So you are never gulping air like a goldfish in a bowl. You are inhaling, holding your breath and then exhaling.


As a general rule in Tai Chi you will be breathing in whenever you elevate your arms and breathing out when lowering your arms or bending.


It is not speed that counts when you do tai chi. Exercises are done very slowly which at first makes people who are not used to it teeter off of their balance. You should also never find yourself breathing fast!


One rule in Tai Chi is that you should never bend your knees further than your toes. So this means that if you look down you should still be able to see them. Doing too deep of a squat is a no no in Tai Chi. This is how you build lower body strength and stability.


It is also crucial that you keep your body relaxed while you do these exercises. You should shake out as much tension from your neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, fingers, legs, ankles and toes as you can before you start.