Practice Tips


Move as relaxed as you can.

The Taiji posture with a “straight back” improves the alignment of the skeleton, allows the joints to move loose and lets the muscles act with more efficiency. Let the knees be softly bent. Slightly tilt the pelvis (hips) forward/up, so the lower spine is drawn down to earth. Imagine a cord attached to the top of the head, gently drawing the head and upper spine up to heaven. Elongate the spine to encourage more flexibility.

Focus your mind totally on what you are doing.

When you think about what you are doing as you are doing it, you are practicing “mindfulness”. To begin, you might choose to think about the physical moves, like every part of the action involved to make a footstep or raise an arm. When comfortable with the sequence of movements to complete a form in Taiji, think about your breathing – feel the inhale, feel the exhale as you match the breathing cycle to the form. With practice, focusing becomes easier. You gain the benefits of living mindfully. Benefits include a calmer mind, improved memory and deeper sleep.


To inhale fully and exhale completely in a controlled manner is more like a baby’s breathing. Watch a sleeping baby. The whole body inhales; the whole body exhales. This style of breathing can help focus the mind and bring a feeling of relaxation and peace.

Try this:

1. Notice how you are at this moment, your sense of calmness, your thinking, your internal temperature.

2. Slowly inhale through your nose until you feel your lungs full.

3. Slowly exhale, through nose or mouth, tightening your abdominal muscles, imagining you are trying to make your belly touch your backbone.

4. Now, compare how you are feeling with how you felt before this one deep breath. Do you feel calmer? Does your mind seem clearer? Do you feel warmer?

5. Practice 4 or 5 more deep breaths. Notice how you feel after each breath.

When you practice deep breathing a few minutes every day, you give yourself the gifts of:

  •  clearer thinking
  •  improved circulation
  •  lower blood pressure
  •  faster healing of wounds or after surgery
  •  profound sleep.

Relax  *  Focus  *  Breathe