The health benefits of tai chi

Tai chi offers a balanced approach to the cultivation of healthvitality and wellbeing
There is no sweating, straining or panting for breath. There is gain without pain.
The benefits of tai chi are significant and long-lasting:
  1. Stay calm
  2. Develop your memory skills
  3. Boost energy
  4. Increased brain activity
  5. Cultivate an unusual form of strength
  6. Improved joint function
  7. Feel balanced
  8. Increased stamina and endurance
  9. Release deeply-held muscular tension
  10. Increased flexibility
  11. Better focus/concentration
  12. Learn to relax naturally
  13. Improved poise and posture
Long held to be an excellent anti-aging regime, tai chi may indeed be the perfect exercise (Harvard Medical School).


10 questions to ask a tai chi teacher

Try asking these 10 questions:
1. Which treatise(s) would you consider to be The Tai Chi Classics? Which author is most accessible to you? And which parts do you struggle to put into your practice?
2. What role does 'shen' play in tai chi?
3. Explain the significance of 'folding'.
4. The name of the art refers to the 'yin/yang' diagram... So, how does tai chi use yin/yang?
5. Illustrate the difference between 'jing' and 'li'. What bearing does this have on 'peng'?
6. What does the expression 'invest in loss' refer to?
7. Explain the difference between the first 4 powers and the second 4 powers.
8. Which of the taoist classics do you find most relevant/pertinent to tai chi? And why?
9. What is 'mutual arising'?
10. How does '4 ounces of pressure' operate in practice? What are the active/passive manifestations? And how do they differ?
If a tai chi instructor cannot answer every question comprehensively - verbally & physically - they are not skilled enough to be an instructor. 
Look for somebody who can provide good answers.

How to gauge your tai chi teacher...

Quite a lot of people claim to 'know' tai chi. 
Typically they mean 'tai chi for health'... 
Yet, if you ask them a few simple questions, they almost always flounder. 

When faced with a potential charlatan, most people ask all the wrong questions: teacher, style etc. 
Who cares? This is not the root of tai chi. 
Focus on the essentials.