Tai chi can be a pleasant diversion, or it can be a profound transformational experience, depending on how you approach it. If you want to get as much value as possible out of your tai chi class, these are some principles that will serve you well:
Focus on your own experience.
Focus on your own experience rather than making comparisons, either negative or positive, with others. Also avoid getting involved with another student’s practice by trying to give them advice or assistance, unless you have been asked to do so by the instructor.
If you have any judgment or skepticism, suspend it for the duration of the time that you are in class. Tai chi should be a meditative experience, and judgment and skepticism take you out of the meditative state and cloud your perception of the present moment.
Have a beginner’s mind.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. Do your best to leave aside any previous experience you may have, and approach each class as if you are brand new. This puts your mind and body in a maximally learnable state.
Tai chi should be a meditative experience. Present moment awareness is a central component of mind regulation. By being fully present you maximize the benefits you receive from practice as well as your rate of learning.
Even if you think you are relaxed, see if you can relax even more. Whenever you are as relaxed as you think you can be, see if you can relax even more. Relaxation is a continual, ongoing process, not an endpoint to be reached. The more you relax the more your tai chi will benefit you.
If you would like to enjoy the benefits of tai chi but haven’t yet found your tai chi family, you are welcome to check out our Online Learning Community!