Making the most of it

To gain the full health benefits of tai chi, you must make it part of your daily life.
It was designed to be a tonic, not a solution/cure.
Weekly class practice is fine, but daily tai chi offers a degree of suppleness, strength, mental clarity and flexibility you are currently unfamiliar with.

Martial artists are another matter entirely.
Muscle memory and reflex must be cultivated and trained continually so that the body simply responds habitually.
This requires heavy repetition, practice, homework.
Sound familiar?


Cultivate the habit of daily home practice

The main challenge people face when learning tai chi is their unwillingness to practice at home between lessons.

Look at some of the key features of school learning once again: heavy repetition, practice, homework.
Even 10 minutes a day of tai chi or qigong will aid you in learning.
Most people spend longer than that texting, surfing the web, watching TV, gossiping, drinking coffee or styling their hair.


Regularly read some of the suggested books (for pleasure)

This is less challenging than it sounds.
Most people who order an accessible book such as Wolfe Lowenthal's There Are No Secrets find themselves pleasantly surprised and enthusiastic when reading the book.
It is a good starting point.
And if that book was good fun, why not try reading the rest?


Tips for adults

Most adults are unwilling or unable to address learning in a similar manner to school, college or university.
So what can they do to expedite learning?
  1. Attend classes every week
  2. Regularly read some of the suggested books (for pleasure)
  3. Cultivate the habit of daily home practice


Adult education

Adult education is a little different to being at school, college or university but there are certain unavoidable similarities.
e.g. Can you reasonably expect to be good at painting if you do not paint?
Will your French Cuisine improve if you do not cook at home?
Do you expect to speak fluent Spanish when you do not practice daily?
Adults have far less time to commit to education.
There are many intruding responsibilities and concerns; work, family, health etc.
However, learning is learning; you get out of it only what you put into it.
There is no miracle method/secret formula unique to adults; if anything you may need to try a little harder than you did as a child.


Unrealistic expectations

Consider this scenario: a university student fails to attend the required/necessary number of lessons, does not study, complete assignments or pass exams...
They cannot reasonably hope to be given a degree.
Yet, how many adults expect results without doing the required work?


Will tai chi help me to lose weight?

Weight loss usually involves balancing out food intake and activity.

Undertaking a daily qigong and tai chi regime will most certainly help your body exercise.
This must be paired with a diet that best suits the individual.


Taking responsibility

School children are required to study 5 days a week in school and then go home and do the homework.
Their performance, progress and competence is directly contingent upon these factors.

At college a student is more self-sufficient.
There is less classroom time and more self-directed study.

At university the student must attend the required number of lectures and then flesh out the study all by themselves.
As with school, there will be assignments and examinations to confirm comprehension and understanding