Why Aren’t More People Practicing Tai Chi?

A student asked a great question in class yesterday: “Tai Chi provides so many benefits for health and memory. It’s so important and helpful as we age. Why don’t more people do it?”

The short answer is, it’s hard work. You can’t just attend class, you have to really be in it with your full mind and concentration. Remembering the movements takes effort, and that’s just where it begins. Understanding and applying the principles takes your studies and effort to a whole new level. For good reason, the original meaning of Kung Fu (功夫) is ‘hard work’. And Tai Chi is, as an internal martial art, part of that family.

Tai Chi introduces powerful changes in your body, mind and life. But it’s not a simple quick fix. It takes time and dedication. As for all things in life that are truly important and truly matter, you have to work for it and you have to be willing to invest the time.

Tai Chi requires more than dropping a pill or showing up for class, going through the motions. You need to learn the individual movements, you need to memorize the form, you need to strengthen and stretch your body, you need to control your breathing, you need to train your mind to be in the moment, while not sticking to a single thing. It’s a LOT of stuff that’s going on and needs to be mastered.

However, as many studies have shown, the benefits are plentiful, improving strength, flexibility, balance, memory and general health of internal systems. It’s tremendously awarding when you start to feel how your balance and your control over your body is improving. It’s eye-opening when you experience how applying the principles correctly leads to a whole new level of efficiency and a new perspective of how you experience performing your form. And last not least, Tai Chi has so many layers, that you can practice a life long, discovering new insights every day. It never gets boring.

Yes, it’s hard work, but it’s absolutely worth it! Keep practicing!


3 thoughts on “Why Aren’t More People Practicing Tai Chi?

  1. Pingback: Take Notes | Keru Uma Budo Tai Chi

  2. I ask myself this question all the time, why is Tai Chi and Qi Gong not more popular? I agree with what you said but I also feel it has to do with people not being able to slow down enough to take in this old art and practice. Time to practice is one thing, but if you can not slow down from the pace of the world it is that much harder. As we know through our own practice, with time all things will come. In the mean time people like us just need to spread the word and encourage others. I could also go on about the misinformation about China that affects the west and the difficulty of finding a teacher that reflects your values, but that is enough for now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Michelle, you are right, slowing down is a challenge for many people in our busy lives these days. Tai Chi will help them to achieve, but often they don’t have the patience to stick with it long enough to get those benefits. Sometimes they also just need to become a little older to recognize the value of slowing down. 😉 I think your other point is correct as well, Tai Chi is not very well known and not as mainstream as Yoga is in the meantime. It also takes longer and requires more attentivness in the moment. So as you said, let’s work on it and keep spreading the word. 🙂 Thank you so much for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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