Tai chi looks easy enough, but sometimes looks can be deceiving. If you’ve never done tai chi before, it may seem especially intimidating to you.
If you’re wondering, “Is it hard to learn tai chi?” we’ll equip you with the answers you need.
• Reasons tai chi may be hard to master
• Reasons tai chi may be easy to learn; and
• The many benefits of tai chi
• Is Tai Chi Difficult?
• 6 Reasons Tai Chi Can Be Difficult to Master
• 6 Reasons Tai Chi Can Be Easy to Learn
• Find a Tai Chi Class of Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi Near You
The difficulty of tai chi — whether perceived or real — depends on each person.
The essence of tai chi practice itself is not hard.
The movements of tai chi are not complicated and can be performed by just about everyone. But just because the movements are simple, it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily easy to do.
And the ease of the movements themselves can actually add to the difficulty.
That may seem contradictory, so let’s clear it up by looking at some of the reasons tai chi may be difficult for some people to get the hang of.
Tai chi is just like learning any other practice or skill.
It takes time and patience to learn a new art, and that is a big part of what can make tai chi challenging for some people.
Even though most tai chi movements are simple, they can be complicated when they are movements that you aren’t used to doing.
Tai chi also requires full-body integration of movement, so trying to jump into tai chi and incorporating the movements of your entire body at once can be a challenge.
That’s why Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi introduces students to tai chi using a different approach.
Rather than just dropping them into a class and hoping they can follow the moves with ease, we believe a “slow start” is the better way to introduce them to the tai chi practice.
In order to focus on the body/brain connection, this practice introduces students to tai chi through different types of warm-ups like tapping and stretching. Once that connection is established through these introductory moves, students may more easily flow into the actual tai chi movements.
This type of introduction, though it might seem too slow at first, is beneficial in the long run.
Have you ever tried something that was extremely difficult at first, like knitting, playing an instrument, or learning a new sport?
• Endurance; and
… usually pay off in the end.
Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue.” And patience is one of those virtues that need to be practiced, learned, and developed in tai chi.
If the practice seems difficult at first, we encourage you to hang in there because it takes time and commitment to become fluent in tai chi.
Tai chi requires focus, and for most of us who live busy and full lives, focus can be hard to find and keep.
You show up at the tai chi studio ready to engage and aim to be intentional about your body and brain connection. The instructor leads in the first move, and before you know it, your mind becomes distracted with thoughts like:
• What will I make for dinner?
• Did I feed the cat?
• What time is the soccer game?
• I’ve got to remember to return that phone call when I get home.
You’re already completely distracted, your mind is disengaged, and you’re only five minutes into the class.
We’ve all been there, and this is one of the things that can make tai chi difficult — but not impossible.
Again, it just takes practice and lots of repetition to gain the focused mindset that will deliver many tai chi benefits.
Coupled with the idea of having the right mindset is the struggle to be fully present. Distractions and wandering thoughts can contribute to our difficulty in being present, but those aren’t the only contributors.
• Worrying about what you look like
• Concern about getting the movements “just right” Focusing too much on the movement or breath; and
• Comparing yourself to others in the class
… can all add to not really being present.
Engaging our minds and intentionally removing all distractions will help students be in the moment and fully engaged in the practice.
• Musicians warm up before a concert.
• Athletes warm up before a race or a big game.
• Kids warm up to strangers.
Warming up also makes tai chi less intimidating and more doable.
• Stretching; and
… can help prepare your body and mind for the practice and make it more beneficial and enjoyable.
Some things are just not easy to pick up and do well on our own. And tai chi may be one of those activities.
• Clearly guides students through the movements
• Demonstrates breathwork
• Is patient with their students
• Pays attention to details; and
• Observes and gently corrects their students
Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi is taught by trained instructors who lead students with simple yet powerful techniques and are equipped with the knowledge to assist students in adjusting the movements as necessary.
Though we’ve covered several difficulties, all of them can be conquered with patience and commitment. Tai chi is an internal martial art form geared at developing balance, concentration, mindfulness, and breathing — things that can benefit everyone.
And because of that, tai chi can be easy to learn for the following reasons.
Tai chi involves slow, fluid movements that don’t require a heavy impact on joints or bones, making it ideal for seniors or those with other mobility issues or physical limitations.
Since tai chi is a low-impact practice with minimal stress on joints and muscles, it’s appropriate for students of all ages and fitness levels.
• Young students
• Advanced students
• And everyone in between
Tai Chi can be easily adapted for use by people in wheelchairs or by people who cannot stand for long periods of time.
Even though tai chi is a martial art, it is one that is not violent or used for self-defense.
So if you are interested in a martial art without violence, sparring, or other contact, tai chi may be what you’re looking for.
Because tai chi is a non-contact practice, it’s easy for beginners (and advanced students, too) to join the practice without fear of getting hurt — or hurting someone else.
Tai chi is an ideal practice for people looking for an individual challenge and personal satisfaction and enjoyment.
Unlike a team sport, tai chi is a practice that students can appreciate for personal benefits without the stress or pressure of performing as a part of a team or “winning” a match.
Tai chi has many health and physical benefits, making it a natural activity choice.
• Can improve mood
• May increase flexibility
• May improve balance; and
• May help you think more clearly
Progress may take time and patience. But with the right attitude, mindset, and perseverance, you’ll improve little by little, and tai chi will get easier as you go.
If you have the willingness to be patient with both the practice and yourself, you’ll find the benefits of tai chi are well worth the possible learning curve.
As Brain & Body Yoga Tai Chi instructors, we want to make your tai chi practice a success. That’s why we offer an introductory private session to provide you with one-on-one guidance to help you know how to use our programs and exercises.
• Tai chi
• Breathwork; and
Both online and in-studio classes are available, making classes convenient and comfortable.
The benefits of tai chi are numerous. Why wait to experience them yourself? Get started today with an introductory session or group class.