Exploring Tai Chi using Mindfulness and Flow

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully in the present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, to not be distracted by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness is a quality that every person already possesses - it’s not something you have to create. In Tai Chi we learn how to develop this mindfulness through a series of flowing movements.

We can further develop our mindfulness through proven techniques. These include seated, standing or moving meditation, and also merging our meditation practice with other activities as in Qigong and Tai Chi. When we are mindful of our Qigong and Tai Chi movements, it helps to enhance performance, gain insight and awareness, allowing the rhythm and flow to quiet the heart. Mindfulness in our movements is critical to still the mind, and for our movements to show fluidity, harmony and intention.

Four things to know about Mindfulness:
1. Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic - it’s familiar to us because it is something we already do. It takes many shapes and goes by many names.
2. Mindfulness is not a ‘special extra’ - we already have the capacity to be in the present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can develop these qualities with simple practices that have been scientifically demonstrated to benefit ourselves, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and the institutions and organizations who we work with.
3. You don’t need to change – history shows that solutions that ask us to change regularly fail. Mindfulness recognizes and develops the best of who we are as human beings.
4. Mindfulness can become a transformative social phenomenon, including through the practice of Qigong and Tai Chi. Here’s why:

  • Anyone can do it – it develops universal human qualities and doesn’t require any change to personal beliefs.
  • It’s a way of living – it is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do and cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.
  • It’s evidence-based - both science and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
  • It sparks innovation – in a world with increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.

In the video below, you can see a strong focus on the flow and balance within the movements of the routine being demonstrated.  As you start your Tai Chi journey with Level 1 of our Celestial Yang style routine (as shown in the video below), you need to keep in mind that the harmony and flow will not always be felt immediately, however it will develop with regular practice and time.

Instructors Noel and Yvonne Schmidt

Yang style - flow and balance
Senior Instructor Suzette Hosken

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Updated: 27 June 2020