Updated: Dec 3, 2017
Taiji Qigong is a subtle and powerful awareness discipline, a tool to become more in touch with yourself. It is a way of allowing yourself to function naturally and smoothly, uncluttered with expectations, shoulds, hopes, fears, and other fantasies that interfere with our natural flow. Unlike so many paths to awareness, such as mindfulness, meditation and some yoga practices, Taiji Qigong is beautiful to experience as you do it, and also beautiful to watch from the outside.
In our Western society so much living is done in the head, so much is in the talking and thinking about things, so much is in the listening, that we can analyse everything to it’s minute detail and still it’s not really any clearer. We have so many mechanical gadgets to do our work for us that our bodies become underused and disconnected from our minds. In order to regain balance we have to reconnect the mind and body; we must work with the mind-body together.
Benefits of Taiji Qigong
Some people realise that their bodies need more work, so they run, jog, cycle, swim, gym and then say that they have done their share of exercise. But this is still a separation of ‘body time' and ‘mind time’ and reinforces the separation in your life. Nonverbal activities are a very important way to regain balance and find unity in your life. When you stop talking, listen to only the sensations of your body, you have created an opportunity to open up and become receptive to what is happening in your body and to what is going on around you.
Taiji Qigong helps you to discipline your body and mind, and find a way to release the tension within you. Taiji Qigong can be a way of letting your body really teach you, and be with you, and help you to get through the conflicts you encounter every day. One of the best images for Taiji Qigong is nature, and the movement of nature. The different branches on the same tree do not move the same but they are moving in unity. When you look at nature, everything has its own slow-motion, it’s own meditation: the seasons don’t change overnight, the tree, the rock, the clouds, the breeze, the sunshine – they somehow tie together without making a point or struggle of it. These are Daoist and Zen concepts that fit exactly into Taiji Qigong practice.
Basic Principles of Taiji Qigong
The basic principle is a sense of awareness, and a sense of being. When you feel like you’re together, just like the movement of nature, you’re at one, as if there are no edges to your body and there is no distinct difference between you and the air that surrounds you. When you’re not together you feel like you are all over the place. Your mind is here, there and everywhere, your muscles are tense and you don’t know if you are coming or going. Being together means centring and balancing, means Taiji Qigong.
Taiji Qigong frees the body and helps with relaxation and overall circulation. It activates muscles, sinews and joints in the body. It strengthens physical power without stress. It maintains youth and aliveness, and slows down the ageing process through rejuvenation. Taiji Qigong calms and collects. It clears and sharpens the mind to help us in focusing and centring our daily activities. When the body and mind move harmoniously together, the human spirit soars. It helps to balance the conflict of mind and body. It reinforces soft approaches to otherwise hard living. Taiji Qigong is to experience living a healthy, happy and conscious life. It’s Movement Meditation.