Tai Chi Is Not Something You Do, Tai Chi Is Somthing You Live!

Taichi

 

I found this gem over at Linda’s Yoga Journal   “‘Today asana has been made into a photograph. There is no difference between this and gymnastics. We see calendars with photographs of someone balancing on a rock in a headstand…even naked yoga. But asana is not a performance, asana is what happens in the posture and afterwards. A circus man can do many postures — this is not asana.'” 

When I read this it struck me deeply.  Tai Chi is a child of yoga and as such I can see the unity in the breath of Yoga and Tai Chi.  However,  there are those students and teachers that practice many many forms, yet never enter into the door of what Mantak Chia calls the Inner Structure of Tai Chi.  When we move from posture to posture we should be mindful, in other words full of mind.  Each posture should be filled with mind, breath, chi, and energetic force from the start of the posture until the end then moving to the  next.   Each posture is a full and complete set within itself. In each posture we should be fully present in all these elements, not merely moving from one to the next.  This is Tai Chi, other wise it’s just pantomining a form.  “…asana is what happens in the posture and afterwards.” 

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7 comments on “Tai Chi Is Not Something You Do, Tai Chi Is Somthing You Live!

  1. Pingback: Tai Chi Is Not Something You Do, Tai Chi Is Somthing You Live … « Yoga Bin Blog

  2. Thank you for sharing this.

    I found the line “When we move from posture to posture we should be mindful, in other words full of mind. Each posture should be filled with mind, breath, chi, and energetic force from the start of the posture until the end then moving to the next.” so very true that I had to share it with my co Tai Chi students.

    I will put your weblog on my reading list.

    Nico

  3. Great thoughts about each posture being a full form in itself. To me, this is the idea of depth vs breadth. Alternatively, some people prefer to be form collectors and some instructors may not know the material beyond the choreography. To each their own .. 😉

  4. Nico, I appreciate you passing on the info to your students. And thanks for passing by.

    Wujimon, Thanks for coming by my house. I agree to each his own as learning to move through various forms may be fulfilling for some.

    Rev Lisa, Thank you for coming by! Yay! Reading about Tai Chi is a great way to begin…I would say also that some of this comes to you by doing it and similar to Khadija’s post observing what you’re doing when you’re doing it.

  5. Ensayn, I have been so fortunate to read a book called Yoga Beyond Belief by Ganga White (highly recommended) so early in my yoga practice. Sometimes when practicing, I get all discouraged because I can’t get into a pose or I can’t hold a pose. ” But asana is not a performance, asana is what happens in the posture and afterwards. A circus man can do many postures — this is not asana.” Honestly! It’s mindfulness. It’s awareness. Even though I’m not as flexible or as graceful as some, I have learned so much about my body and gotten so much spiritually from this understanding. Yoga has been a blessing in my life and it’s wonderful to see how related Yoga and Tai Chi are (I’ve been trying to get the hubby into Tai Chi forever. His coworker bought him a complete set to learn with but he has never viewed them . . . I hope he gets inspired by me).

  6. Hey Chi-Chi, I appreciate you stopping by. I was once on a mission to learn this form and that form, but I found that by taking the time to focus on each posture (pose in yoga) I was finding out more and more about each posture and more about myself in the process of each posture. I think I will order that book since Tai Chi is a fruit of Yoga.

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