After your initial practice period, you have hopefully managed to create a tai chi habit. It is time to go a step further and start focusing on specific tai chi exercises which are considered priorities. Probably the most essential tai chi exercise is standing. While you stand, your body will become physically stronger and more relaxed. Your body awareness will increase, your mind will be calmer, and your breathing will connect your internal and external worlds.
Silk reeling energy exercises and qi gong breathing are also essential, as they allow your body to memorize tai chi movements and remain centred and relaxed.
Now, this is what GrandMaster Chen Zhenglei and Master Liming Yue have to say about practising (quoted from Tai Chi for Health, p. 22)
“During practice, keep quiet, calm and relaxed. Follow the principle ‘When one part of the body moves, the whole body moves accordingly. When one part of the body is motionless, the whole body is still.’ Let awareness, body movements and breathing combine to complement each other, co-operating and working together simultaneously.”
They also have something to say about how long one should practise:
“The amount of exercise one should take depends on the individual level of fitness. For a healthy person, after you practise your body should feel a little bit tired. This will vary according to each person’s level of fitness, but one should pay attention not to overdo it. Your mind and spirit should feel revitilised.”
Independently of how long you have decided to allocate to tai chi in your daily routine, don’t forget to do some standing, and you will reap more health benefits.