Important Tai Chi Resources for Beginners
Historically, anyone serious about learning tai chi had to first become a formal disciple of a master. This was no light agreement. Becoming a disciple entailed a formal initiation ceremony, sworn oaths, and multiple kowtows or bows—sometimes so low and hard that one crashed one’s head against the floor. And this was just the beginning of a typically strict and arduous master-disciple relationship.
Fortunately, it’s not so difficult to learn tai chi in these modern times. Beginners have a variety of resources available to learn and to deepen a tai chi practice.
Read here for information on:
• Finding classes
• Choosing an instructor
• Taking workshops and retreats
• Internet resources
• DVDs and Video clips
Classes. Beginners can simply enroll in a neighborhood class. Venues such as the YMCA/YWCA, community colleges, and gyms often offer tai chi classes at reasonable rates. Dedicated tai chi schools are another option. Read more here about finding a tai chi class.
The Instructor Effect. The focus, approach, and agenda of your instructor can have a huge impact on what you learn and how rocky or smooth your learning path is. Read here for more information on choosing a tai chi instructor.
Workshops and Retreats. Workshops and retreats are a favorite option for those unable to attend weekly classes. In workshops and retreats, participants are immersed in the tai chi teachings. This can make it easier to focus on the material without the distractions of normal life. On the other hand, retaining all of the new material can be challenging.Find out more about tai chi workshops, seminars, and events here.
Books. Books are an important resource for understanding tai chi. They’re best as a supplement to a class. Its easy to develop bad tai chi habits when working alone and trying to understand the material solely from a book.
But books can be useful in providing different perspectives and historical and cultural insights to tai chi. Click here for some recommendations of tai chi books.
Web Links. The internet is also rich in information for deepening one’s tai chi practice. But navigating through the thousands of pages to find reliable, reputable sites can be a challenge. Here’re a few websites with good tai chi information to get started.
DVDs. DVDs and video clips are wonderful tools in this electronic age for learning form movements.
The first step in learning a form is simply to be able to put one’s limbs and body in the appropriate positions. Working with DVDs--particularly those showing the form from different angles such as the front as well as from the side--can speed up this process.
DVDs can eliminate the uncertainty between classes. They can clearly show the answer to simple questions, such as whether one begins a move by stepping with the left or the right foot.
Stay tuned here for more information about instructional DVDs.
Your Tai Chi Journey. There are so many tai chi classes to be taken, books to be read, DVDs to be watched. Beginners and all students of tai chi have many resources available when learning the art of tai chi.
Hopefully this website provided some help in understanding tai chi and how to begin and to deepen your personal practice. Best wishes to you on your tai chi path and beyond.
Next: Read about finding tai chi classes.