Taiji or Qigong? What’s the difference? Both are based on developing and moving Qi, or life energy, around the body. Qi is fundamental to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), in which it is believed that illnesses and fatigue occur in places which are empty of Qi, in which there is stagnation, or where the Yin/Yang balance is out of adjustment.
Qigong – simple patterns, repeated a number of times
Taijiquan – (old spelling T’ai Chi Chuan) a series of more complicated movements and positions, the ‘form’, which at an advanced level can also be used as self-defense. There can be as many as 108 movements in a form, but we’ll do a 37-movement ‘short form’.
Taijiquan is a way of moving with balance, mental calm and physical release. It improves concentration, condition and balance. It has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of falls in elderly people.
The typical Qigong/Taiji lesson – we always begin with some simple warming up exercises, then a relaxed standing posture to develop release while focusing on alignment. Then we might do a Qigong sequence, and finally work on the Taijiquan ‘form’. Practically anyone can do this – even if you can’t stand for long periods. There’s even ‘chair Qigong’!
Learn to move lightly, with agility and aliveness, with Yin and Yang cooperating smoothly. Attain stillness in motion, and motion in stillness.