How Much Energy Arts Practice
Is Appropriate for a Beginner?

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Paul Cavel Adjusts a Student’s Bagua Form

The question of how long to train Tao meditation and energy arts is one of the most frequestly asked questions.

I advise all students, but especially beginners to qi gong, tai chi, bagua or meditation, to mind their two-thirds of effort in mind-body-qi, and save 45-minute to hour-long practices for many months (or even years) down the line, once they have a solid foundation in nei gong. Otherwise, you may injure yourself or build up too much internal resistance and stop practising.

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Tai Chi: Art of Softness

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Paul Cavel Teaches Tai Chi in Islington, London

Tai chi is a yin art, which is why it often gets disregarded as useless or only being good for the elderly and young girls. But in fact, the soft nature of tai chi is exactly why it is so effective as a means for developing qi power—whether for health, healing, meditation or martial prowess.

First and foremost, exercise done in a soft way can prevent you from embedding existing, superficial tension deeper within the body. Tai chi is a superior exercise system for releasing the nerves, which in turn releases all soft tissues. This process allows the body to unfurl effortlessly and further paves the way for amplified blood and chi circulation through unbroken motion. Practise daily and you have a concrete means for manifesting real health benefits, but tai chi’s magic doesn’t stop there!

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Tai Chi Training: Balancing Exercises for Asymmetrical Movement (Video)

Balancing Exercises: How-to Video Lesson 3

The last two lessons covered methods for balancing symmetrical movement, but many times in tai chi and bagua, the form calls for non-symmetrical movement. Even when one side of the body does not mirror the other, you still seek to create stability and continuity between both halves.

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Qi Gong, Tai Chi + Bagua Training: Balancing Exercises for Turning (Video)

Balancing Exercises: How-to Video Lesson 2

In this lesson, we continue balancing exercises by looking at turning in the internal energy arts. Turning is a component of most qi gong sets and all bagua and tai chi styles. So stabilising and equalising your turn (and weight shift into either leg) is a fundamental prerequisite to achieving a truly internal practice, as well as the benefits that come from it.

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Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body Qi Gong (Video)

Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body Qi Gong is a foundational, Water Element Qi Gong set (a part of the Energy Arts System). The five exercises that comprise the Energy Gates set help to connect the body into one integrated piece, making whole-body motion possible. While the Outer Dissolving technique stabilises the downward flow of energy and sets the foundation for more advanced meditation exercises, providing the ultimate safety net for training energy arts.

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