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.
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!
The first step to living pain-free or improving your health is re-educating your body about how to move and perform even minor daily tasks, such as typing on a keyboard. In fact, most people have never received health or physical education that includes information about correct and sustainable body alignments and movements.
All internal enery arts exercise ultimately intends to stimulate qi flow in your body. In fact, one reason external, postural alignments are a main focus in the beginning is to help optimise fluid (such as blood) and qi flow. So now that you have the basics of balancing your outer casing in your form, we’ll look at two primary flows in the body: ascending and descending qi.
So far we’ve been practising exercises for balancing the left and right sides of the body with a focus on the legs, the arms and the turning of the body. Now we’ll look at balancing the upper and lower body in qi gong, tai chi and bagua.