There is no right or wrong way
I might not be mainstream with this, but one of the things I love about Tai Chi is the possibility to adjust it to your own body, to your own abilities and restrictions.
And yes, you can and should adjust Tai Chi as needed. Even feel encouraged to do so!
There are enough studies nowadays, showing that Tai Chi helps with Balance, Breathing, Osteoporosis, Fibromyalgia and all kinds of other maladies, but how can it affect all those different areas of your life and body, when we all do exactly the same? We are all different with our bodies and we all start at a different level of ability with our Tai Chi journey. So just feel free to adjust it in any way necessary.
Yes, of course we look at all those older Chinese people in the park practicing their Tai Chi and admire their flexibility, fluidity and low stance, but is that really necessary?
I do not think so.
To reap in the benefits of Tai Chi, we have to start somewhere and cannot and should not try to do what others do. We have to use the principles we are learning and just move! It does not matter if the form looks perfect or not, it is important to move and breath and focus. It is not important that your hand is in that specific angle, or your foot has to be 45 degrees and your stance has to be this low.
We all have our specific abilities and restrictions and we have to work with those. So feel your own body, follow your gut feeling. If something does not work for you, don’t do it. Change it in a way, which won’t hurt and start working on it. The journey always starts with the first step. So if at first you are not able to lift your arms, start with minimal movement. If your body prohibits bending down, just start with moving your spine. Round it, tug in your tailbone, round your shoulders. In the end we want to work on our flexibility, slowly improving it, but not forcing it.
If balance is an issue, sit down. Slowly start with short periods of standing up and holding on to the chair. You might not be able to practice a form, but use the principles to move.
Adjust what you’re doing to your abilities. Think about principles, not perfectionism. Start with those and over time, your body will follow.