We started learning 37-step Yang-style Taiji in 2009 under Master Rennie Chong. See his training centre in the following home page.
It took us several years of constant practice to appreciate and understand the principles of Taiji. It is only in recent times that my wife and I are enjoying this form of exercise. For Taiji practice, all one needs is an open space. No fitness instrument is required.
We wake up early on some mornings each week and do two rounds of 37-step Taiji. Once a week, we add limbering whole-body exercises before executing the 37 steps.
Taiji steps are graceful and one needs concentration to do them well. In addition, correct breathing in Taiji will have to be co-ordinated with physical movements.
Benefits of Taiji
1. Correct body posture is crucial. Taiji movements emphasised the importance of correct postures. Taiji can release tensions around our body, from neck down to legs.
2. Taiji is weight-bearing exercise. It helps to strengthen our lower part of body.
3. Breathing is an important part of Taiji. Through slow movement of each step, breathing is regulated and calm.
4. You can breathe fresh early morning air and keep us in contact with nature.
5. Taiji trains us to focus and to be mindful of every single action of our bodies from head to toes during Taiji practice.
6. Taiji taught me perseverance. Mastering Taiji is difficult and it takes perseverance to continue the practice.
7. Taiji is for old and young too. For the elderly, this is a suitable exercise and it is not a high-impact exercise.
8. Taiji can be cheap. Taiji does not require any fitness or gym equipment. You just need comfortable clothing and a simple pair of canvas shoes.