Thursday, April 18, 2024

Suggestions for Home Practice


Here are a few suggestions
for your home play/practice.

Check here occasionally for updates.

Please be prudent.
If you have any concerns
about any of these exercises,
be sure to check with your physician first.



Be sure to apply the Tai Chi Principles in your daily life.
For example, whenever you hear or read the word
“covid” or  “virus”,
immediately relax your neck, shoulders, chest and abdomen,
and take at least three, slow and deep breaths.
Make sure to exhale slowly and completely.
These are stressful times, to say the least.
It is important to defend yourself
against damaging stress hormones,
(such as cortisol and adrenaline)
via the deep breathing which engages
your parasympathetic (rest and restore) nervous system
and releases positive chemicals (such as dopamine and serotonin).
You can help yourself by taking control via deep breathing.
For more on stress, please see
and check out this information about the vagus nerve.

Choose several other daily life cues that work for you
as reminders to breathe deeply and to apply the principles.



Practice the form without hands, arms hanging.

Practice with your hands at your hips, fingertips pointing directions.

From the Beginner’s Footwork, record yourself reading
the footwork directions from page 4, etc.,
and play it while practicing.
Hearing your own voice helps you internalize.


While sinking down in a 70-30 posture,
move up close to each wall of your practice area
and with the top of your head flat and with your eyes level,
mark the four walls of your practice area
with post-it notes at that eye level
(in order to help you maintain the verticality principle).
Although you want to be concentrating inwardly,
use the post-it notes and check frequently to make sure
your eyes and your head top are level
as the “suspended from above” principle affirms.



Separate the Weight, i.e., One Legged Work:
Time yourself as you do the Play Guitar posture
(on both sides) while separating completely as much as possible.
Start with, say, 30 seconds and gradually add more time.



Separate the Weight, i.e., One Legged Work,
For more experienced players
(and only if you feel safe doing so),
cross your empty ankle across your weighted leg’s knee.
Time yourself starting with,
say, 30 seconds and gradually add more time.



For more experienced players
(and only if you feel safe doing so),
try the Rooster Challenge.
Do as many Roosters (on both sides)
as you can without stopping.
Try these postures walking forward and/or in place.


In order to exercise your legs and core,
try not to use your arms when getting up from a chair or sofa.



Using masking tape, tape a wooden coffee stirrer or tongue depressor or some such across the back of your hands and wrists and try doing your practice with emphasis upon the principle Mei Ren Shou. Make an exception for the postures Beginning and Single Whip, of course.



Practice with a book on your head.



Practice with a mouthful of water and observe your breathing.



Video yourself doing a small section of the form.
Watch that video several times
while observing yourself from the ground up
and with special emphasis on the Tai Chi principles.
Write down your specific corrections.



Review pages of this website
and specifically study “Resources” and read “Essays”.



Please be prudent.
If you have any concerns,
check with your physician
before attempting these exercises. 

Waiver: By trying any of these suggestions, you hereby agree to release and hold harmless The T’ai Chi Ch’uan Study Center, Ltd. and the instructors from any liability for any injury or harm that might result from your doing so.                       703-759-9141


Photo above: Bluebird nest and eggs

copyright 2020; W.D. Conner