An anonymous reader asks:
“Apart from the physical fitness how is Tai Chi helpful in other aspects, (such as) mentally or spiritually? Also, should I concentrate on the navel chakra?”
Tai Chi can help you mentally because it is a discipline and must be practiced regularly. Also, if you want to progress, you must pay attention to doing the moves as exactly correctly as you can.
However, before we worry too much about the mental aspects, you need to learn the physical aspects. That, in itself, can be a mentally as well as physically demanding practice.
So, first, you learn the moves, carefully, with exactitude. Then, when you practice, keep your hands in the right shape, beautiful lady’s hand for Cheng Man-Chi’ng’s form, and keep your spine straight, and the weight, single-weighted, as the weight shifts back and forth between the legs, and work on keeping your head at the same constant level as you go through the postures of the Tai Chi, and do not let it bounce up and down with your movements. Concentrate on these, at first, one at a time, and then all together, and you will be fairly started.
Don’t worry about any energy points till you have your outer form. Tai Chi practice flows from the outer to the inner.
When you have mastered all the outer things there are (and I have just named the few that came to mind), then your next conquest is your mind. You keep the mind empty, and that is in itself a discipline. Try doing that even without practicing Tai Chi, and you will see what I mean. Then you need to learn to listen to your body, without thinking about it.
Start with your breath, breathe in on the inhales and out on the exhales. Then take it to the next level. Feel the fingers and see what they feel like, as they go through the air. Then feel the spine for straightness. Then feel the knees and the elbows to see that they coordinate. You need to, not do each one, one at a time, but to do one and then add the next one. So you can see that it is quite a mental discipline to practice Tai Chi the way it was intended.
As to spiritual, I am not sure how to answer that without more information on your definition of spiritual, but let me say this: Practicing slowly and smoothly will give you a sense of calmness that will be greatly enhance your sense of peacefulness.
And so Tai chi is in that way, at least, a spiritual exercise.
Tai Chi is Chinese moving Yoga, but it is much more than that. So relax and practice, and see where it leads you.
In Tai Chi,