The 5 Keys of Tai Chi Standing

Sometimes the Simplest things are the most powerful. Tai Chi is first about Standing and then about walking. In this post I will address some key points about Tai Chi Standing.

1) Be Here NOW!
This sounds easy at first but most people find it quite difficult to do until they have trained it for awhile. Set an alarm clock / timer for 5 minutes and simply stand there for 5 minutes.

Now comes the hard part.

Do not think about anything else but standing there for the entire 5 minutes. You can pay attention to your body both inside and out but you can not let your mind drift or go anywhere else. Come back to the article after you have given this a try.

Difficult or practically impossible you say?

Try it for 3 minutes. You may still find that this is difficult but I would not recommend that you start with much less. You will learn a lot in these 3 minutes and what you learn will be very beneficial for you in the short and long term.

2) Defeat the Monkey Mind
How much chatter is there inside your head? You will want to quiet this chatter down when you want it to be quiet.

In Kung Fu we call this chatter Monkey Mind. Monkey mind defeats many people because it stops them from gaining real clarity.

I will do another post where I will continue to go into some detail on the NOW but in this post let us continue to look at standing.

3) Relax
When you stand what do you feel? Are you aware of body tension that you did not realize you had? Now that you are aware of your body tension are you able to release it, relaxing more and deeper.

4) Stand Comfortably and Correctly
Do you feel certain parts of your body more than others? Are there any parts of your body that are uncomfortable. Can you adjust your body posture and ease the discomfort?

This is one of the beginning ways to train for self healing. It is amazing how much damage we do to ourselves with bad posture and most of the time we do not even realize we are doing it.

5) Breathe
When you first stood up did you notice where your breath was / is in your body? If not then stand now and feel where is your breath moving from and to as you breathe in and out.

Is the breath high up in your chest?

Is your breath making it all of the way to your belly?

Is your breath making it into your legs and your whole entire body?

If you notice your breath from the beginning and work on it and adjust posture as needed and relax you will find that you can get your breath to flow into and out of your entire body. This is correct practice.

Please let me know about your discoveries and I will write more about Tai Chi Standing next time.

Have fun, Relax and Breathe.



  1. Richard Adhikari says

    This is such good advice and so helpful.

  2. I have been practicing Beijing 24 moves standard set for more than a year. It benefited me a lot. From your viewpoint, is this enough as a base set or it’s better to go further with something more vigorous like Kuang Ping Yang 64 forms set? What I don’t like for sure are all those “combined” sets as 48 or 42 standard competition forms. In my view, there should always be some purity of style rather than a mix of styles. For me it’s better to stick either with Kuang Ping set or try Chen 38 or Sun 73 forms. At list, I’ll be able to distinguish between all those styles and know correctly what suits me best. What’s your thought on that?

    • Matt Holker says

      At Clear Tai Chi we have always sought techniques and expressions that are practical and functional, not just a bunch of forms and sets. That said, Richard Clear knows a lot about Form work from across many styles. In our view you’d be better off learning how to use a bunch of different Internal Principles and expressions of the Form you already have than learning more choreography, but you do make a good point about figuring out which style or teacher suits you the best. What are your ultimate goals in Tai Chi?

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