Twenty Ways to Flunk Tai Chi

May 26, 2015 0 Comments
In the Studio

In the Studio


Some of my students will be surprised that I’ve written a post on how to fail at Tai Chi since I always tell them “You can’t do Tai Chi wrong.”  There are a hundred ways that the student can execute a form that is unlike what it being taught, but I don”t consider that failure.  Mindful intention and willingness to adjust and adapt as skills improve will be ample reward as the student’s practice becomes smoother, more technically accurate, and aesthetically rewarding.

That said, there are things a student might do that can detract from practice and from the class experience.

Here’s a partial list.

  1. Eat a big meal before you come to practice
  2. Wear dangling jewelry
  3. Spray on heavy perfume before class
  4. Make sure your clothes are tight-fitting
  5. Keep your phone ringer “on”
  6. Bring your Starbucks into the studio
  7. Go through your after class “to do” list while you are practicing
  8. Hold your breath as you move
  9. Continue a movement even if you feel pain
  10. Aspire to be a Zen Warrior while attending class once a week
  11. Try to learn with YouTube instead of using it as a supplement to the classroom
  12. Begin your practice before spending a few minutes settling your mind
  13. Compare your progress with other students
  14. Critically compare the current teacher with one of your former teachers
  15. Attend class sporadically and still expect results
  16. Attend one or two classes, decide Tai Chi is not for you, and quit
  17. Take a selfie during class
  18. Post a class picture on social media without classmate’s permission
  19. Repeatedly leave before the end of class
  20. Never smile in class.

Number One, “eat a big meal before practice.”  and Number Nine, ” continue a movement even if you feel pain” are most concerning to me as your teacher.  When the blood has gone to the stomach to digest a big meal, it is harder for the limbs and mind to carry on forms.  You can end up with a belly ache.  You should never work through pain, adjust your movement to accommodate what you are feeling, and don’t hesitate to speak to your teacher for suggestions.

That’s my list of 20 Ways to Flunk Tai Chi.  Do you have other suggestions?  -b



Filed in: Qigong

About the Author:

First born, awkward teenager, young professional, wife, Momma, divorced wife, Grammy, wife (again), business owner, Fortune 500 Corporation executive, career coach, reader, writer, fly fisher, joke teller, fast driver, INFJ, Aquarius, Feng Shui hobbyiest, Starbucks drinker, Tai Chi/Qigong practitioner and teacher, Iowan....Of all my labels, momma, grammy and wife are the most cherished

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