THE VALUES OF TAIJIQUAN
Practiced properly and diligently, the values of this serenely calm exercise of Tai Chi Chuan are tremendous. The profound gracefulness of Tai Chi Chuan helps to maintain an active, strong, agile, yet relaxed, healthy mind, body and spirit.
The art of Taijiquan has proven itself to benefit people from all walks of life, of all genders and ages, beyond the boundaries of race, religion or culture; breaking through physical borders of states and nations, from East to West and from North to South.
It has conquered various forms of weaknesses in the human body and brought brightness and happiness to many a poor soul.
Through the smooth and graceful sequence of movements one unconsciously practices the way towards relaxation, the ability to let go muscles and tendons, joints and ligaments.
The ability to relax allows the internal energy called ‘Qi’ or ‘Chi’ to move or circulate better throughout the body bringing better health to the cells. Once the cells regain their health then organs and systems of our body start to function better thus we are able to maintain or regain our health.
Below are some interesting comments of Taijiquan learners:
A student with MS telling the master:
“My physiotherapist was fascinated how I could maintain this good posture although I am on these clutches”
“They were even more surprised at how I could balance myself on one leg for so long.”
“You know, just after some 6 week courses, I can feel my back that has been giving me terrible problems very much improved. It is indeed fascinating!”
Many a practitioner who follows the practice correctly has this to say:
“Somehow I don’t seem to be improving BUT when I think back I discovered that I have hit upon a treasure trove; Tai Chi Chuan has brought me tremendous benefits in various ways; most important of which is Health; with a good health I am free of worries and sufferings about my well being.”
“You know, the aches and pains have gone! It’s fascinating, just fascinating!”
“Oh! I feel so much different after a year of practice.”
“Two years ago I have to take so many tablets and now I only take this tablet, and I feel so much better. I feel so free!! Free of problems that has been hanging on me and troubling me.”
“I don’t have this terrible headache any more!”
“My coordination was so poor but after these few years of Tai Chi I am able to do so many things so easily. I am so much more flexible in my movements!”
“It’s fascinating! It’s great!”
“I can enjoy myself so much more now. Before I learnt Taijiquan I was suffering from so many problems.”
“What I know is Tai Chi Chuan has benefited me health wise, leisure wise, sports wise, security wise, knowledge wise, hobby wise, friend wise, social wise, humbleness wise, trouble free wise, and etc wise. In fact the main word should be, ‘peace and happiness’ wise.”
“I am considerably more flexible at 45 than most 10-year-olds (and more than I was at 10).”
“After the first 3 months my blood pressure dropped several points, and I have cut various medications with increased health.”
And on and on ……..
Most practitioners began to feel a sense of security. They feel more secure for they can walk better with a better posture with no concerns about weakness in balance or faltering steps. They feel they are more flexible and much stronger at the legs, and much more secure when walking.
Whether young or old, people need a proper posture and Tai Chi Chuan helps us to get this posture, i.e. upright but relaxed body and a straighter spinal column. With this they gain much more confidence in themselves at work, social gatherings or at leisure.
Steel in Cotton
They become more humble but firm in their attitude towards work and other activities. Within this firmness is flexibility like what Taijiquan practitioners say ‘steel in cotton’.
This is explained by the Yin-Yang symbol, steel being yang and cotton being yin. You will find that this principle of ‘steel in cotton’ or the Yin in the Yang and the Yang in the Yin is applied to everyday life and when one meets challenges; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
In the process of practicing Taijiquan you will have to concentrate while trying to relax. It is a form of relaxed concentration, so relaxed that when you are well practiced, you can forget yourself; as if floating in the clouds or sailing in the serenely calm waters, yet focused on where you are heading. It is very hard to explain, describe or convince someone about this fantastic feeling in this profound exercise but when you reach a certain level of practice you will understand what it is.
“There are no words that can effectively share the wonders of the Taijiquan experience. Yet to a beginner it feels and looks like there is nothing in it!! It is only after a period of practice, and that means real practice with a good and experienced instructor, that one will understand and feel the immense values of Tai Chi Chuan. People who have little patience will find this treasure unreachable and will not be able to enjoy it for they will give up without giving it a chance to help them.
So those who have the opportunity to meet a good instructor please stick to it and give it a good study before throwing it away. It is very sad to see people coming to start off and give up without giving it a chance to show them the value.”