How to get started with Tai Chi

If you’re looking for a form of exercise to get into, consider tai chi. A type of martial arts practice, tai chi is great for people at all exercise levels.

Separate from most other forms of martial arts, tai chi is far easier to adapt to and learn without having previous martial arts or moderate exercise experience. Even people with limited mobility or older individuals can take up tai chi successfully.

Tai chi is a great way to improve physical and mental health overall, and build up to more serious forms of exercise and martial arts in the future.

To get started with tai chi, you need to have a few materials on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

Tai Chi shoes

Because you will be spending a lot of time balancing and moving between positions, you will want to have a good pair of shoes meant for tai chi. These shoes should be comfortable and flexible, while still allowing you to get the grip you need to maintain your balance. Kung Fu shoes that have a rubber sole and are made with soft, flexible material are a good choice for your tai chi routine.

You can also practice tai chi barefoot, but this is not recommended for anyone with limited mobility or poor balance.

Open space

Tai Chi

You are going to need an open space with no obstacles to practice tai chi effectively. You are going to be stretching and moving around in different positions, and will need to have enough space to stretch fully.

Additionally, a large part of tai chi requires meditation and the ability to relax. Practicing in a cluttered, distracting room can have adverse effects to the calm state you are trying to achieve.

Tai Chi sword

You can choose to pursue tai chi with or without a sword. When you are first learning, you are likely to practice without one so you can get used to balancing and working through the necessary motions. Once you’ve been practicing tai chi for a little while, you can begin to integrate a tai chi sword into your routines. There are swords specific to tai chi that you can purchase.

Starting Tai Chi

Once you’ve got the necessary items and space required, you can start on your tai chi journey.  There are often tai chi courses offered in martial arts studios for you to take advantage of. You will want to start with beginner classes to learn the basics of tai chi. According to the Tai Chi Foundation, you will need somewhere around 30 beginner classes to learn the basics of the exercise form. From here, you can move on to more advanced tai chi courses.

If classes are not available in your area, there are many beginners resources available online to pursue. YouTube and other video platforms are great for beginner videos that offer step-by-step guides on how to practice the exercise form. Whether you’re learning at home or at a tai chi course, you can practice your skills at home to ensure you retain everything you’ve learned and receive all the benefits tai chi has to offer.

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